SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University students received an up close and personal view of poverty, homelessness and hunger issues during two recent CareBreak programs that took them to Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
The two CareBreak programs were sponsored by SRU's Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.
The CareBreak program gives SRU student volunteers the chance to provide community service through partnerships with community action groups and is part of the CSIL's overall service-learning leadership development efforts. Students plan and organize the trips.
Eight SRU students joined the Washington, D.C., trip, while seven participated in the Chicago project.
"I truly had an amazing weekend at Luther Place in D.C. learning so many valuable lessons, which I will use for the rest of my life," said Alana Carroll, an SRU early childhood education major from Havertown. "I learned so much here from the people at the Steinbruck Center and Luther Place Memorial Church, and I gained a whole new outlook and respect for the homeless community and the ways in which we all interact."
Luther Place Memorial Church is a ministry that provides service opportunities dealing with poverty in urban locations through direct service, education and reflection.
Students joining the Chicago CareBreak stayed at and worked at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, which conducts nonprofit community outreach.
This organization, called "Chicago Lights," reflects and expands Fourth Church's historic commitment to serve the city.
Participants in both CareBreaks helped staff soup kitchens by preparing and serving meals and lent a hand in sorting cloths and other goods to assist the needy.
SRU students participating in the Washington, D.C., trip were:
- Serena Engel, a public health major from South Williamsport
- Sarah Russ, and early childhood/special education major from Zelienople
- Alanna Fitzgerald, a public health major from Cleveland, Ohio
- Ji Hea Choi, an English major from Chun Cheon, South Korea
- Alana Carroll, and early childhood education major from Havertown
- Nathan Osokow, a criminal justice major from Williamsport
- Mallory Hamilton, a public health major from Strattanville
- Janine Muri, a student affairs in higher education graduate student from Murrysville.
Chicago CareBreak participants were:
- John Beckage, a parks and recreation resource management major from Slippery Rock
- Emily Wakelee, a sport management major from Newtown
- Jessica Hall, an early childhood major from Burton, Ohio
- Alex Rizzutto, and English major from Oakdale
- Amber Cannon, a communication major from Sharon
- Justin Vallorani, a student affairs in higher education graduate student from New Kensington
- Jessica Skovira, an early childhood education major from Derry.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.