Clemson students use spring break to give back
CLEMSON — Spring break usually means beaches and relaxation for college students, but for hundreds of students at Clemson University, spring break is a chance to do something more. This year, several student organizations will be sending their members across the world to do service projects that range from building schools to health care initiatives.
Clemson University’s Chapter of FCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, is sending around 420 students to Indianapolis, Indiana, to work as teaching assistants in classrooms and serve homeless shelters in the state.
Thirty students from the Clemson branch of Students Helping Honduras again will travel to the Central American country to help build new, cleaner schools.
Due to the prevalence of gang activity, children in Honduras are especially at risk for becoming involved with gangs. The Students Helping Honduras project aims to encourage Honduran children to stay in school.
Since December, the organization has raised $5,000 for the annual school construction project.
Clemson Wesley, a religious student organization, will send 49 students on two different service trips.
Thirty of them will go to the greater Miami area to work on projects that assist children and new immigrants, as well as a construction-based project.
The other 19 students will be volunteering on the island of Eleuthera, located in the Bahamas. Students will spend the week in a small settlement working in local schools, churches and community agencies. Students majoring in education will work closely with students and local teachers.
“We are excited to see how service can challenge and encourage us to be more active members of our community back in Clemson,” said Abby Barnett, a student member of Clemson Wesley. “It’s sure to be a meaningful week for all who are involved.”
Clemson Navigators, also a religious organization, is sending 36 students to Birmingham, Alabama, to volunteer alongside the organization Christian Service Mission. During their trip, Clemson Navigators will participate in various service projects that include food distribution, construction and gardening. Students will also be able to visit the Civil Rights Museum.
In addition to student organizations, a service-learning study-abroad program also will be based in the Dominican Republic for the week. Seven students from several different majors will travel with faculty member Arelis Moore to establish public health and community development initiatives. The program is partnered with a local university, Ibero-American University.
“It’s a close cultural learning process where students can learn about public health from a cultural perspective,” said Moore.
While abroad, the students will be divided into teams, one of which will conduct public health research while the others provide educational opportunities for children of varying ages.