Applications now Available!
What we are focusing on?
1. A Glimpse of Homelessness
This immersion experience allows participants to live as an individual experiencing homelessness might, all the while coming to understand the struggles, adversities, and love found on the streets. Amidst the immersion, participants will also engage in outreach programs with another local organizations serving meals and providing assistance to people experiencing homelessness in the area while also having the opportunity to hear personal stories.
2. Adults with Cognitive Disabilities
The L?Arche community offers participants a chance to engage with adults with cognitive disabilities through service, education, and companionship. Participants will be able to interact with core members and staff in the community to better understand how these incredible individuals can enhance, challenge, and create an impact on society.
3. Alleviating the Effects of Gangs on Youth: A Look at Preventative Programs
Participants will work with state gang prevention to learn about gangs and the violence they cause in an inner city population. Working mainly with children and adolescents, participants have the opportunity to work in after-school programs and youth centers. Additional educational opportunities include working with city police and leading gang specialists. This trip is mainly focused on education activities, however, students will do construction and repair work as part of prevention programs.
4. Conservation of our Native Ecosystems
This trip is both a service-learning opportunity as well as a unique immersion experience. Participants will learn about the threats posed by invasive species, the on-going history of an exceptional ecosystem, and the importance of conservation. Through working with a team of conservation specialists, they will realize the significant impact that one human?s action has on the world and will begin to recognize their personal responsibility in conserving our planet.
5. Elderly Living in America
Through direct service at a nursing and rehabilitation center, as well as at a continuing care retirement center, participants spend spring break investigating the challenges and opportunities of elderly living in the United States through the eyes of those who live it every day.
6. Exploring an Inaccessible World
Participants will have the opportunity to work in different communities constructing wheelchair ramps at various homes. Along with this service, the group will explore the issues of accessibility in communities as well as learn about how disabilities affect individuals in their day-to-day activities
7. Exploring the Roots of our Nations: The Oglala Lakota People
Participants will gain insight into the lives of the Oglala Lakota by learning about their history, culture, and living conditions on the reservation. Through direct service, participants will have the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the tribe. Projects may include building ramps, restoring bunk beds, skirting trailers, and chopping firewood. Additional educational opportunities include evening speakers and tours around the reservation.
8. Fair Trade: Learning the Economic Realities
Participants will spend more than a week immersed in a culture with historic and direct ties to the United States and the Jesuits looking specifically through the lens of international trade. The experience will include interaction with human rights and religious leaders, government officials, farmers, laborers, and youth in both an urban center and a homestay in a rural community. The group will work to better understand the complex nature of international trade and how the systems and policies could be built in a more humane and sustainable way for all.
9. Fairness and Discrimination
This trip will engage participants in a dialogue concerning the issues of discrimination that still exist in modern society. Many people struggle with facing systemic inequality based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors. By learning about and performing service in organizations that focus on each one of these different populations, participants will be challenged to discover the connections that exist between seemingly separate social issues.
10. Finding Justice in the Prison System
Participants will learn about the prison justice system alongside men in a halfway house. Additionally, the group will work with an after school program composed of inner city youth trying to stay out of the criminal justice system. Lastly, the group will receive a tour of a prison as well as meet and greets with various prison system staff.
11. Food Security in the City
Participants will advance healthy food access by working with organizations committed to involving local residents from seed to sale to plate. Participants will serve a variety of urban farms and resource programs working to restore society?s connection with the environment and its food sources. The trip will explore long-term solutions to hunger through direct service on farms as well as in the food banks and soup kitchens that the farms support.
12. Immigration: A Look Into a Difficult Journey
It goes without saying that immigration is a hot button issue and there is much to learn about the pushes and pulls instigating the migration process along our country?s southern border. Through direct service with immigrants, outreach runs, visits with Border Patrol and exposure to the realities of crossing the border, the group will have a better understanding of the human sides of the immigration story. A passport is required and some faith-based reflection will be facilitated by our host organization.
13. Literacy: Advancing Opportunity for Disadvantaged Children
In addition to experiencing a powerful cultural immersion, participants will teach and tutor in centers that provide supplemental English education to pre-school through high school students. Participants will work with an organization dedicated to providing children with the education necessary to attend college and obtain skilled jobs.
14. Mountain Top Removal: An Inside Look at Coal Mining in Appalachia
Much of our region?s electricity is sourced from coal from the Appalachian region. As a result, participants will explore the complex nature of the issue of coal mining, especially the practice of mountain top removal, coal mining, and the industries? impact on Appalachian communities. The group will hear first-hand accounts from coal miners, activists, government officials, and community members. The group will also enjoy cultural events in the community. Service will likely include helping low-income Appalachians weatherize their homes and planting trees on a former mountain top mine site. This trip includes a lot of outdoor time including some active and strenuous activities.
15. Humanizing Mental Illness
Participants will interact and work alongside of adults learning to live with their mental illnesses. By working at one of the leading therapeutic farm communities in the country for mental illness, the participants will take part in farm work alongside of the forty adults at the center. These residents are affected by illnesses such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression. This experience is aimed to allow participants to learn about the social stigmas related to mental illness and to relate to the residents on a personal level.
16. The Rights and Welfare of Animals
By providing hands on animal care and working to support their environment, participants will form unique connections with rescued farm animals. Participants must be comfortable with being in close proximity to animals because each participant will be assigned an animal to focus their attention on for the duration of their time at the farm. Additionally, participants must be willing to maintain a vegan lifestyle for the week out of respect for the community with which they will be working.
17. Refugees in America
Participants will be educated on what it means to be a refugee living in America today by interacting directly with refugee families through community outreach programs, employment mentoring, and new home refurbishing. The combination of education and interaction will enable participants to shed light on the journeys on some of the newest Americans.
18. Rural Poverty
Participants will be faced with the implications of rural poverty through homestays and be immersed in a culture whose residents are resource poor, yet ?rich? in many other ways. Participants will likely be expected to work in the local school, repair roads, and help in a clinic. Our host organization focuses on relieving as much of the strain of poverty as possible by providing educational opportunities and community improvement programs.
19. Substance Abuse: Prevention and Treatment Education
Participants will explore the issue of substance abuse and the effect that it has on individuals, families, and communities. Participants will labor on a rehabilitation farm, performing tasks alongside the men in recovery that live there. The host organization focuses on community outreach, prevention, and treatment.
20. Sustainable Living and Appalachian Culture
Participants will immerse themselves in life an Appalachian holler to learn firsthand about the many causes of the region?s poverty, economic disparities, and environmental challenges as well as learning of the richness of the culture. Participants will engage in hands-on physical labor including building structures, yard work, farming, chopping wood, etc. Accommodations will be rustic.
21. Urban Agriculture and Sustainability
This trip will teach participants the importance of locally-sourced food as well as the countless benefits that come with eating organically. Working at an urban garden will enlighten participants as to how choosing locally grown, organic food over shopping at big-box stores promotes a healthy self, economy, and community. Additionally, participants will connect with a local university that is committed to integrating sustainability principles and practices into all aspects of their campus.
22. Urban Schools as Community Learning Centers
Participants will work with an organization dedicated to school and neighborhood improvement through the implementation of community learning centers. By working in public schools throughout the school day as well as after, participants will see how public schools can become the hub of educational, cultural, recreational, an health partnerships within a community.