The COVE continues to offer educationally meaningful service trips over winter and spring break. Alternative break trips are not discrete one-week experiences. In addition to committing to a work-intensive week, students are responsible for attending pre-departure meetings that introduce the participants to the community and organization with which they will be working and the critical issues with which they will be dealing.
Students who participate are civically-engaged students interested in effecting sustainable local and global change through a continued commitment. In total, participants in these programs contributed more than 2,500 hours of direct service to these communities in Fiscal Year ’13.
- Disaster Relief Trip to New Orleans, LA, with the United Saints Recovery Project, providing direct aid through the rehabilitation and restoration of homes of New Orleans residents
- Habitat for Humanity Build in Pendleton County, WV
- Youth Empowerment in Neyba, Dominican Republic, promoting adolescent health through workshops on creating a teen culture that is educated about STD and HIV/AIDS prevention and constructing latrines for families in the community
- Home repair and rebuilding in Oglala Lakota Nation, Pine Ridge Reservation, SD
- Relationship Building with Pathfinder Village in Edmeston, NY, engaging students and residents with Down syndrome in enrichment/recreational activities
These deep immersion experiences are significant to students in terms of their ability to make meaning of what they learn in the classroom through direct application. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their personal values and ethics through the lens of often difficult experiences, leading to profound questions and conclusions.
“The trip to West Virginia last winter is probably one of those things that I will never forget and always be proud of when I recall my college experiences 30 years from now,” said Yuan Lou ’16. “I realized that what brought us together to Habitat is not the difference between people, but the strong wish to contribute to the happiness of others — which everyone at Habitat has in common.”