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Westmont College Students to Spend Spring Break as Volunteers

Teams will be working in Santa Barbara, as well as Los Angeles and Ensenada, Mexico

About 300 Westmont College students will spend spring break (March 12-16) working with the underserved in Ensenada, Mexico, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

More than 200 students and dozens of community volunteers will be in Ensenada for the 35th year of the student-organized service trip Potter’s Clay.

Students will begin leaving campus this Friday and Saturday. In Mexico, teams will build four homes and a church, host medical, dental and optical clinics at various locations through the week, operate vacation Bible school programs at 16 churches and provide sports clinics.

Potter’s Clay has launched several new efforts, including a surf ministry to help connect with Ensenada’s youngsters, a repair team to remodel previous Potter’s Clay construction sites and a creative dance team.

“Westmont students seek ways to fulfill their Christian calling,” said senior Josh Koh, co-director of Potter’s Clay. “This long-term ministry provides incredible opportunities for them to model their faith and experience life outside the U.S.”

For the fourth year, about 50 Westmont students will stay in Santa Barbara working on various service projects in the community and learning about organizations that serve the community. Three service teams will work with children and families in the Carrillo and Village Apartments, Cleveland School and the homeless in Santa Barbara.

“We simply want to spread love and joy to all those around us,” said Ariana Bilek with Spring Break in the City of Santa Barbara. “We seek to build relationships within our community, breaking down the barrier between community members and Westmont College students, and building friendships and bridges of support.”

More than a dozen students will be in San Francisco, working with a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, serving the homeless and volunteering at the youth ministry of City Crossroads Church. The SBIC San Francisco group will also work at Old Skool Café, which assists at-risk youth and was started by Westmont alumna Teresa Goines.

“It’s exciting to watch others develop a passion for San Francisco and its underserved,” Maleshah Bender said. “I hope this provides an outlet for students to experience the issues within a large community and equip them to carry on the work outside of SBIC.”

Five students will serve with SBIC Los Angeles, working with the Jonah Project, World Impact, Union Rescue Mission and Homeboy Industries.

“We hope to be faithful learners, embarking on a week filled with diverse experiences and serving God through it all,” Nikki Ramage said.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.

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