Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 1:43 pm | Fair 77º


Westmont Students Spend Spring Break Serving Globally

More than 260 Westmont students are spending their spring break, March 11-18, volunteering for various service projects in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Salt Lake City, Mexico and Haiti.

Some 216 students traveled to Ensenada on March 10 for Potter’s Clay, a student-led service trip that's marking its 40th anniversary, making it one of Westmont’s longest-running traditions.

With the help of 30 professionals traveling alongside the students, volunteers will build homes, cut hair, prepare meals, lead prayer and worship, as well as provide medical and dental care for Ensenada residents.

“We are building classrooms, extending a home to become a church, building dormitories for women at a seminary, and remodeling a church sanctuary,” said Rebecca Boa, assistant director of campus life for ministry and outreach.

“I'm excited for students to deepen relationships they’ve made in past years and to develop new ones with both Westmont students and those in Ensenada,” Boa said.

Other students will be staying in California, partnering with local organizations that minister directly to under-served populations.

“During our various trips, we will be learning to best serve the community, address urban issues, and seek and share the Kingdom,” said Brooklyn Jervis, Urban Initiative local coordinator.

The week-long experience in L.A. and San Francisco is usually intense and transformative for students who seek to both understand urban issues and assist long-term workers.

Locally, students staying in Santa Barbara will be partnering with churches and missions organizations, engaging with issues of poverty, homelessness and at-risk youth.

Other students will be traveling to Salt Lake City to participate in conversations on interfaith dialogue and reconciliation.

“We are looking forward to asking deep and meaningful questions about faith and engaging with others who believe differently,” said Katie Skiff, Urban Initiative publicity and travel coordinator.

Fourteen business majors and minors are going to Port de Paix, Haiti, as an extension of their Business at the Bottom of the Pyramid course taught by Rick Ifland, professor of economics and business.

Students have spent the semester preparing business plans they will launch upon their arrival, helping locals kick-start effective business models.

“I am most looking forward to engaging with people who live in a different part of the world, and to apply what we have learned in class to a wider global context,” said Ellie Haldors, a senior.

Not only are the service trips student-initiated and led, but students are required to raise money for each trip.

— Scott Craig for Westmont College.


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