Centre students lend a helping hand in Honduras
Centre College’s emphasis on global citizenship is reflected by its top-rated study abroad program, as well as a growing number of opportunities for students to intern or serve in other countries. This past summer four Centre students volunteered in Honduras, gaining a global perspective and realizing a passion for making a positive difference in the world.
Kristen Asmus ’17, Emily Hines ’17 and Dean Faulkner ’15 served with Sparrow Missions, a Kentucky-based nonprofit mission organization that ministers to the people of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The three students volunteered in several locations around the city, including government-run orphanages and a slum community called “Los Bordos.”
Hines and Asmus first connected with the organization during their senior year of high school and were excited to join Sparrow’s summer staff.
“We assisted leading short-term mission teams that came down for a week-long trip in the summer and managed household duties—cooking, cleaning and finances,” Hines explains. “I also had the opportunity to volunteer in a children’s oncology unit in the public hospital.”
In addition to leading the short-term trips with Hines, Asmus helped teach English classes and tutor children.
“The most rewarding part of the experience was seeing the hope through education that Sparrow is sewing into these lives,” Asmus says.
Faulkner found it challenging to overcome the language barrier, but still “developed lifelong friendships” and considers the people he met to be family. His favorite memory came from his time working at the Ministerio de Vida, a men’s rehabilitation center where he typically worked in the woodshop making guitars.
“We took some boys from the male youth group at the Bordos, and a few of these youth spoke to the men in rehab,” Faulkner explains. “One boy in particular, Irving, who was such a joy to get to know, did something really difficult. His dad died from alcohol and he stood in front of those men encouraging them to quit, because he related to their kids. It was just so powerful, and I was really proud.”
Lidia Galindo Britto ’15 (pictured right) also spent time in Honduras this summer working with Owens Boro Kindergarten, which aims to provide young students with language skills that they can use later at bilingual elementary schools. During her time at the school, she worked as an operations intern and teacher assistant.
“The most meaningful part of the internship was being able to meet the parents of my students and hear how proud they were of their child using words in English,” says Brito, herself a Honduras native. “It was rewarding to know that I was having an impact in my students’ lives.”
Brito received funding for her internship from the Centre Education Fellowship, which provides financial support to students participating in education-related internships.
All four students felt that Centre’s focus on global citizenship prepared them for their experiences abroad.
“Not only did I feel prepared to conquer the language barrier, thanks to Assistant Professor of Spanish Daniel Arbino, but also Centre does such a good job of encouraging us as students to go out in the world and make a difference,” Hines says.
Pictured above: Kristen Asmus ’17, fifth from left; Emily Hines ’17, fourth from right; and Stodghill Professor of Biology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Stephen Asmus, right.
by Hayley Hoffman ’16