Meet Emma Sieling.Emma

She’s 17 years old and from Alexander, Minn. She’s attending the 2009 ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans with about 30 other teens from her town.

They’re hoping to do volunteer work on Saturday at a health fair being held for the people of New Orleans.

Emma arrived in the city last night, wide-eyed and hungry. While her friends ate pizza, she shared the sobering things she’d learned on the ride from the airport to the hotel.

“Our bus driver gave us a little history of New Orleans and the big hurricane,” Sieling said. “I couldn’t believe how bad things looked in some places. It surprises me. It’s been four years. It just makes you want to work all that much harder to help the people.”