FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2010
Office of College Communication
WENHAM, MA—During spring break, many Gordon College students will be spending their time off building homes, caring for children and working in impoverished communities.
From March 6–14, seven teams of some 65 students and seven staff advisors will be traveling to a variety of areas on specific mission trips. In Memphis, a team will work with inner-city children and families while another group heading south will help with construction projects in rural Mississippi. Others will travel out of the country to the Dominican Republic to work alongside Haitians, and to Nicaragua and Mexico to visit orphanages. One team will head to North Dakota to work on Standing Rock Reservation with Native American youth; and members of the women’s field hockey team will be pounding nails with Habitat for Humanity in southern Florida.
Each team focuses on service learning by studying a different culture and working along side local residents to help meet specific needs in those communities. In Nicaragua, the team will also be travelling throughout the country and working with a number of businesses and people.
“We’re going into this with the mentality of learning as much as we can from another culture,” said Greg Thonsen ’10, a business major from East Williston, New York, and two-time leader of the Nicaragua trip. Thonsen says his team will focus on learning as well as respecting those with whom they will work.
With a long history of service both domestically and abroad, Gordon’s spring break trips are guided by fellow students and staff with each trip shaped according to individual mission. The trips provide learning experiences for each student as well as opportunities to see the world and engage with diverse cultures. Many students say that such trips are “life changing” and believe they help to define their experience at Gordon College.
“Poverty outside of the United States is different from poverty inside the U.S.,” says Thonsen. “It changes your global perspective and worldview when you encounter it face to face.”