Over spring break, Sewanee had the opportunity to serve with over 100 students and faculty members in Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Haiti. Sewanee teams have built partnerships in some of these locations for over 20 years and have worked in various types of service that range from construction to agriculture to medicine to education. Rather than going on a college student’s typical spring break, these 6 carefully selected groups spent their time off from school serving communities, building unique relationships, and pursuing meaningful adventures and experiences all over the world. Now to give a brief break down of all that these 6 groups did in the course of just 10 days:
Domestic trips sent groups to Miami, New Orleans, and New York City. Barbara Banks led a group of 12 students on the Miami outreach trip, which centers around classroom tutoring at the secondary level. In the past, volunteers have also participated in a Habitats for Humanity project, worked with a Photo courtesy of Callie Sadlerlocal nursing home, and helped with a special needs outdoor program called “Shake-a-Leg.”
Hagi Bradley and student leader Keira Coleman (C’16) led a group of 12 on a trip to New Orleans, a city in which the University has a 20-year history of service. During their time in New Orleans, volunteers had work-days full of varied projects including tutoring, construction, caring for homeless pets, serving in soup kitchens, and gleaning in areas that were impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Danielle Larsen led another group of 12 to New York City to participate in direct service, receive a hands-on education on the topic of AIDS, and witness how non-profit organizations in New York operate. Volunteers also worked with the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, which serves over one thousand people each day regardless of documentation, socio-economic level, or any other factors that could prevent someone from getting a meal.
Sewanee also sent 3 groups to international locations in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Haiti. The Costa Rica outreach trip was led by Rob McAlister and student leader Anna Thorson (C’16) to the Cloud Forest School in Monteverde. This group of 15 volunteers partnered with the school in their efforts to maintain the ecological biodiversity of their campus, as well as providing a comprehensive educational experience to their students. This trip is unique in that all participants live in home stays with families from the school. The Ecuador outreach trip was led by Callie Sadler and student leaders Izzy Correa (C’16) and David Prehn (C’16) with a group of 16. Ecuador participants partner with Youth World, a Christian organization training youth ministry leaders and working to reach out to youth in Quito that Sewanee has worked with for 10 years. Volunteers work with “Remanso de Amor” which serves as a school, community center, and church in one of the communities in Quito. Lastly, the Haiti outreach trip was led by Dixon Myers and student leader Elizabeth Sega (C’15) with a group of 24. This trip set in Cange exposes students to Sewanee’s long-term agricultural reforestation project, photo project, and dental and medial options. Through all of these special experiences, Sewanee students and faculty were able to use spring break to engage in community service and experiential learning in both domestic and international settings. Communities in various parts of the world were able to benefit from the tangible work completed, while students gained a broader understanding of the world around them. Kudos to all of these groups and their hard work!