About 250 Westmont College students and community volunteers are in Ensenada, Mexico, for spring break, building homes, operating medical and dental clinics, leading a vacation Bible school, running hair-cutting clinics and competing in sports events as part of the school’s Potter’s Clay program. More than 5,000 students have participated in the annual student-organized service trip since it began 31 years ago.

Westmont students are also serving with Spring Break in the City (SBIC), volunteering in San Francisco, and participating with Racial Equality and Justice (REJ), traveling to Birmingham, Ala., and Jackson, Miss.

Students with SBIC will sleep and work at City Crossroads, a center for multiethnic and low-income families in San Francisco’s inner city. Student volunteers provide youngsters with a safe haven to gather for recreation, study, guidance and mentoring.

The REJ group is in its fifth year serving with the John M. Perkins Foundation in Mississippi and learning about Christian community development and racial and economic justice. Students will continue working on the Zechariah 8 project, which refurbishes homes for underserved families as a pathway to home ownership and provides enriching after-school programs for children and youth.

Not only are the service trips student-initiated and led, but students are required to raise more than $500 for each trip.

Students return to classes March 25.

Scott Craig is Westmont College‘s media relations manager.