Wilkes University Students Participate in International Community Service During Alternative Spring Break
Eighteen Wilkes University students participated in community service internationally during their recent spring break. The trips were organized under the University’s alternative spring break program. Alternative spring break offers students an opportunity to perform community service while experiencing a different culture and developing their leadership, teamwork and critical thinking skills.
One group traveled to the Dominican Republic, volunteering with The Guanin Center Inc. in La Piedra, Santo Domingo. The students worked with the organization to teach the community English. Students also interacted with the community members of La Piedra. Crystal Cool, assistant director of diversity affairs; Erica Acosta, associate director of diversity affairs; and Tyisha Williams, assistant professor of biology accompanied the students on the trip.
A second group completed community service in Costa Rica volunteering with the sports committee of San Marcos. The students worked with the organization to paint the playground, basketball court and assisted with the sand box installation. Isolated from the main provinces of the central valley of Costa Rica, San Marcos and the region of Los Santos have a lack of services and extra curriculum activities for children and youth. While in Costa Rica, students also toured a local fair trade coffee corporation to learn the coffee production process from the processing of beans, to marketing and distribution. Andrew Miller, assistant professor of political science and Jeffrey Stratford, assistant professor of biology, accompanied the students on the trip.
[Left, Dominican Republic group, pictured from left to right, bottom row: Erica Acosta, Cassandra Merrill, Nshimirimana Zawadi, Alyssa DeKenipp, Morgan Deangelo, Summer Rivera and Crystal Cool. Top row: Domingo Franciamore, Lauren Hertzog, Sidney Wilson and Kayla Wedlock.]
[Right, Costa Rica group, pictured from left to right: coffee farmer Oscar Monge, Wilkes University students Maura Clarke, Darian Durkin, Amanda Imbalzano, Shaelyn Briggs, Kelci Piavis, Caroline Rickard, Lyndsey Shay, Morgan Burton and Amber Grohowski and Wilkes University faculty Jeffrey Stratford and Andrew Miller.]