Students serve and learn around the world

From working with migrant populations in Gettysburg to providing laptops to children in South Africa, Gettysburg College students have spent their summers serving communities locally and around the world.

The college's Center for Public Service (CPS) has expanded the Heston Summer Experience to include 16 students who worked on community development in Gettysburg, an Apache Reservation in San Carlos, Az., Uganda, and Nicaragua. Some students worked with migrant children in Gettysburg or trained youth to become peer health educators in Nicaragua.

The program, also known as Communities In Action/Comunidades en Acción, is made possible by a gift from 1970 Gettysburg College graduate James Heston.

It provides opportunities to culturally inquisitive students who cannot afford to take an unpaid internship.

CPS also supported six students who implemented service learning projects in Ethiopia, Nepal, and South Africa through grants from the Karl Mattson Fund, Davis Projects for Peace, and One Laptop Per Child.

• In Ethiopia, students worked with Project Gaia, a global initiative to develop clean-cooking alcohol stoves and fuels for disadvantaged people who suffer poor health and mortality from cooking over polluting fires.

• Working with a $10,000 grant, students established a library at the Pancha Kanya School in Nepal and promoted literacy.

• In South Africa, students worked with One Laptop Per Child to provide each child with a laptop that included content and software designed for self-empowered learning.

Throughout the summer, students have blogged about their experiences living with host families, forming local partnerships, and exchanging ideas.

"This summer has brought me closer to the greater Gettysburg that isn't just the campus," wrote Olivia Haddad '11, a Heston intern who worked with the college's Campus Kitchens project. "There have definitely been challenges, but I'm starting to see those as fences in an outdoor obstacle course."

"How do I show to the rest of the world what these kids are going through? It is difficult for kids growing up in Nepal at this time. I want people to know how they are struggling and how they are living through it," wrote Sneha Shrestha '10.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences. With a student body of approximately 2,600, it is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Kendra Martin, director of media relations

 

Posted: Fri, 11 Sep 2009

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