Students Anticipate A Different Kind of ‘Break’

While some Eastern Mennonite University students hit the beaches of Florida or other sunny climes over spring break, Mar. 4-12, others will spend a week doing service-learning projects in four locations.

Twelve students, led by Philip J. (Jordan) Good and Hannah E. Yoder, will do construction and rehabilitative housing with Service With Appalachian People (SWAP) in Harlan, Ky.

Another group of 12, headed by Kendra R. Nissley and Felicia D. Wideman, will be involved at Jubilee Partners in Comer, Ga. This farm-based intentional community provides advocacy services for refugee families entering the U.S.

Students Jennifer A. Edwards and Joseph A. (Joe) Horst will direct another 12-member group in hurricane relief and rebuilding work in the devastated community of Long Branch, Miss., under the auspices of the Valley Response Group.

Ten students, led by Paul J. Yoder and Kara L. Bender, will visit and assist organizations addressing poverty and other urban issues in Philadelphia and Camden, N.J. They include Camden House, New Hope for Women Center, Urban Hope and the Lighthouse Family Center Church.

EMU sophomore Ariel C. Ressler, Young People’s Christian Association (YPCA) trip commissioner, said the service experiences “benefit both the students and those they relate to.

“It’s a great opportunity to interact with new people and to experience a different way of life,” she said.

Ressler, a justice, peace and conflict studies major from Lititz, Pa., went with a group to Philadelphia last year and said she came away “with a lot of questions” related to urban problems and how to address them.

In addition to the service teams, the EMU Royals baseball team will participate in the annual EMU-Sarasota Spring Classic over the break week. The Royals will compete against Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio; Cedarville (OH) University; Trinity International University, Deerfield, Ill.; and Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa.

EMU President Loren Swartzendruber will speak at the 9 a.m. worship service Mar. 5 at Bay Shore Mennonite Church in Sarasota.