The Gates Center’s annual Spring Break Service Trip flew down to Dade City, Florida on Saturday, March 10 with fourteen students. Lead by Tara Busse `13, the group of students spent a week building four houses with their affiliate Habitat for Humanity Program.
“It was an absolutely wonderful experience and one of the best ways to spend Spring Break,” said Lucy-George Cooper `14, who described how they stayed in a house next to a Habitat for Humanity homeowner, which showed her how much it meant to do that kind of work. “It is great knowing that I could spend my Spring Break having a blast with friends and changing people’s lives. I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to spend a week off from classes.”
Seven other students participated in Alpha Phi Omega’s (APO) trip to Johnson City, Tennessee, where they repaired a mobile home that was damaged during a fire. The students worked through the Appalachian Service Project, an organization that attracts thousands of volunteers to rural Central Appalachia to repair homes for low-income families. They even won a trivia contest for knowing the most facts about Appalachia! The trip was sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest as an extension of APO’s partnership of service with them.
“We grew together as a group and were able to make significant progress on our project,” said Leah Frenette `12. “We all learned a lot about Appalachia, construction, group dynamics and ourselves.” Watch the video she made below:
Professor Glen Adleson took his “Environmental Connections between Chicago and New Orleans” senior seminar class down to Louisiana during the week off of classes. The group of students drove down along the Mississippi River, stopping in St. Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; and Vicksburg, Mississippi until they arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana. They learned a lot about the agriculture and history of these areas in the classroom, but this trip allowed them to explore the natural ecosystems first-hand. The students even got an hour to spend on the beach in the Gulf of Mexico.
“The trip was great in allowing us to experience places where history has happened,” said Erika Rodriguez `12. “To read and discuss a thing is informative, but to be in the place and feel a part of it is enlightening. Overall it was an amazing, unforgettable learning experience.”