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Spring Break Service Trips Take Students Across the Country

Senior Sarah Salinas first participated in Destination: Service as a first-year student in 2005. This year, she will be participating as a student leader, accompanying a group of nine students to Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, to work with Cornerstone Ministries.

Senior Sarah Salinas first participated in Destination: Service as a first-year student in 2005. This year, she will be participating as a student leader, accompanying a group of nine students to Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, to work with Cornerstone Ministries.

Salinas and other students from Southwestern will paint a church, help organize medical supplies in a free clinic, and lead learning and play activities for local children.

“My first Destination: Service experience changed my life and opened my eyes to service for others,” said Salinas, who plans to work for a non-profit organization after graduating. “Originally, I was just looking for something to do, and Destination: Service sounded like a really positive experience. I made a lot of friends on that trip who I wouldn’t have met otherwise.”

Salinas is one of 49 students from Southwestern University who will be traveling to five different locations for spring break volunteer work March 14-20. This is the 13th consecutive year that students are participating in the volunteer program known as Destination: Service.

Student leaders have been planning Destination: Service since April 2007 by attending weekly meetings with Aaron Rohre, interim director of religious life and a 2003 Southwestern graduate.

“One of the most rewarding parts of the trip for students is that they will be able to see the fruits of their labors immediately,” Rohre said.

Other destinations for Southwestern students this spring are:

• Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, where they will help provide services for the homeless;

• The Gila National Wilderness in New Mexico, where they will spend the week repairing trails, maintaining creek beds, and painting and repairing park buildings.

• Sunland Park, New Mexico, where they will build straw bale homes for low-income residents; and

• The Martha O’Bryan Center in Nashville, Tenn., where they will assist with a variety of community outreach programs.

This will be the 11th year Southwestern students have gone to the Gila Wilderness, the 9th year students have gone to San Francisco, the 7th year students have gone to Nashville and Nuevo Progreso, and the 5th year students have gone to Sunland Park.