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D.C.-based program teaches students to serve community

Deja and Deonna Cherry twin sisters at Paul Public Charter School in Northwest D.C. created a program to support victims of sex trafficking and homelessness. Tuesday, April 11, 2017 (ABC7 photo)

Deja and Deonna Cherry are quite comfortable doing things together. The 17-year-old twin sisters at Paul Public Charter School in Northwest Washington have joined forces to create a program to support victims of sex trafficking and homelessness. It's called In My Opinion.

"We can't save everyone. But what we can do is provide resources and organizations that we know are out there to help," Deonna shared with ABC7 News.

LearnServe International is giving the Cherry sisters the skills they need to accomplish that. Lauren Jordan, a program director with LearnServe explained, "We allow students to really get into the driver's seat and think about issues that upset them. What are the issues that they think are just not right and need to do something about and from there we give them the tools that they need to do something about that through social entrepreneurship."

William Thomas is Director of High School Programs at Paul and added, "It really teaches students how to investigate, how to find credible sources, how to find experts that are related to your take-action project." LearnServe prepares students to take action with social entrepreneurship courses, after-school programs, and summer international service opportunities.

The goal: to help students become social entrepreneurs and global citizens. Cherry continued, "We want to be that bridge between what you're going through and what's going on in the community and the resources because a lot of students out there don't know there are resources out there."

Since 2003 LearnServe has supported more than 1,000 students in the D.C. area.

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