Spring Break 2024: Wilkes Students Explore and Serve Across the U.S. and Abroad

by Mandy Pennington
Wilkes University students participating in an alternative spring break service trip.

This spring break, Wilkes students and faculty traded in their pencils for passports and used their time away from the classroom to explore and serve across the U.S. and abroad.

Wilkes Adventure Education (WAE) spent the week in the Pacific Northwest exploring two cities, Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, with plenty of camping in between. 

The group flew into Seattle, then drove to Olympic National Park and down the Oregon coast. They spent time camping in the Redwoods and traveled inland through Oregon for hot springs hikes and a guided rock climbing adventure before taking off from Portland. 

The group was composed of 11 students, two Wilkes alumni who are former WAE members, WAE Coordinator Jill Price and her 15-year-old son. Out of the 11 students, five are graduating seniors who have been devoted to WAE for three or more years.

The Office of Civic Engagement organized three different service trips that allowed students to serve communities in Colorado, Washington, D.C. and the Dominican Republic.

Six students traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to lend a hand at the Guanin Community Center and serve the community of La Piedra. The students worked in schools, observed in clinics, supported a group of female entrepreneurs and helped to repair a home. The students not only served La Piedra, but also got the chance to learn about the community through presentations on the culture and history of the Dominican Republic and social and political issues facing Dominicans.

Six students traveled to Longmont, Colorado, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of the St. Vrain Valley. The students worked on a build site to frame a house that is currently under construction. In their free time, they explored the nearby towns of Boulder and Estes Park and visited Rocky Mountain National Park.

Seven students in the Bonner Leader Program returned to Washington, D.C. to serve with Martha’s Table, a nonprofit focused on the food dignity movement, and Housing Up, a nonprofit devoted to providing affordable housing for homeless and low-income families. The group also spent time networking with fellow Bonner leaders at George Mason University and explored the nation’s capital by visiting monuments and museums dedicated to social justice.

Learn more about Wilkes Adventure Education, the Office of Civic Engagement and the Bonner Leaders program at wilkes.edu.

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