Traveling to Biloxi, MS, Catawba’s students, Johnathon Boles, associate director of the Lilly Center, met up with students from Heidelberg University to spend their break volunteering with Back Bay Mission. A total of twenty-seven students and staff members participated the first full week of March.
Westley Koon, one of Catawba’s students participating in the trip said “Whether it be the people, the work, the fun, the good I was able to do, anything at all, I wouldn’t change a single thing.”
Catawba opted to participate in a project highlighting the connection to the United Church of Christ and Back May Mission. The students learned about poverty, homelessness, climate change, and civil rights. They spent the majority of their days either working in a food pantry, the Micah Day Center for individuals who are unsheltered, serving food at the pop-up kitchen, or working on a construction site to build a home for those in need.
“It was one of the best weeks of my life,” said Catawba student Miles Lester. “I befriended many people and learned more about being a person of service.”
Catawba students participating included Ana Price, Salem Flemming, Alejandro Alvarez, Nate Johnson, Miles Lester, Zac Smith, Nomsa Kamanga, and Koon.
An alternative spring break is when college students choose to participate in volunteer projects during the traditional week-long spring break vacation. Instead of laying on the beach or hitting the slopes, students can select from a lot of options to contribute during breaks from school.Catawba’s alternative spring break was offered through the Lilly Center for Vocation and Values which provides a variety of programs that help participants discover their gifts in ways that serve others and improve the world around them.
“I took away that you can’t take things in life for granted like a hot shower, three meals a day, and clean clothes,” said Ana Price. “My perspective on life changed a lot during this trip and I will definitely be much more thankful for everything I have.”