For many college students, spring break is recognized as week of sun and sand, but for some students at Centre College, it meant a time of service. The College recently organized two days of community outreach and service for students who remained on campus during spring break.
“We wanted to focus on opportunities in Boyle County, engaging students in our own community and connected them with organizations that they will hopefully volunteer with in the future,” said Jessica Weasner, director of community service and the Bonner Program. “The organizations we worked with, the Danville–Boyle County Humane Society and Blue Bird Market, are both organizations that we have existing relationships with but can always use more volunteers.”
Nine students and three staff members volunteered at the Danville–Boyle County Humane Society and four students, along with two staff members, went to Blue Bird Market.
Weasner added that, due to the fact that these locations are not within walking distance of campus, they can be overlooked. None of the students who participated in the service days had ever been to these organizations before.
“My hope is that these service days will have a long-term impact on both the students and the community; something that generally doesn’t happen when we travel to a different community to do service,” she said.
Assistant Director of the Center for Global Citizenship Stephen Swan encouraged the international student community that remained on campus to participate in these service days.
“A number of our students who have joined us from around the world will stay on campus during the breaks for one reason or another,” Swan said. “As the dynamic of our student body evolves, and the number of international students continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important that we continue to provide community and support to those students who may not be able to get off campus for the breaks.”
Swan added that experiences like these service days are an opportunity for our students to break up the silence and loneliness of staying on campus during the breaks.
“The service days provide our international students another opportunity to look deeper into the surrounding community, exploring another dimension of American culture, and most importantly to me, building closer bonds and bridges with American Centre students and staff with whom they may not have gotten to know otherwise,” he said.
by Kerry Steinhofer
April 1, 2019