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STOCKTON, Calif. - It's not how you picture college kids spending their summer vacation. Instead of backpacking in Europe, hitting the beach, or hanging out poolside with friends, about 50 young adults are in Stockton this summer volunteering for important projects like cleaning up Mormon Slough.

The students are working through the Sierra Service Project, an organization based in Sacramento and affiliated with the Methodist church.

Stockton was selected as a summer work site because of situations like Mormon Slough, a dry creek bed where garbage piles up alongside homeless camp areas.

"I'm here because Stockton needs people to care. Instead of talking, do something," said 18-year-old Kori James, one of the few participants from Stockton. Others are from San Diego, Los Angeles, Roseville and Portland.

Unfortunately, Mormon Slough has been cleared of garbage before only to have the problem return. Religion student Richard Annet doesn't let that discourage him.

"Because of what we did today, this might be a catalyst for change. That's what I hold onto. Down the line this might make an impact on someone's life," he said.

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