For more than a decade, Creighton University’s Schlegel Center for Service and Justice Fall Service & Justice Trips have been making an impact at sites around the nation.
Meanwhile, the number of participating students has grown by leaps and bounds.
Now through Saturday, more than 240 Creighton students will spend their week’s recess from academic pursuits at one of 30 sites around the nation. Creighton provides similar opportunities in the spring semester, too.
They will work with people in an array of service opportunities, or learn more about the history of social justice movements and take part in an in-depth study of peace and justice issues facing the nation.
For many students, it’s their first foray into service.
“I’m inspired semester after semester by all the students who not only have a desire to serve others, but who also want to learn about the justice issue facing communities across the country and around the world,” said Jeff Peak, assistant director for the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice.
“Students learn so much from our host partners and the people that they meet during these trips, and through Ignatian reflection are able to integrate these lessons into their Creighton education and into their lives.”
Students will visit the Columban Mission Center and Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, working with and learning about immigrants crossing the border and the challenges of a broken immigration system.
They’ll also work with people with intellectual disabilities at the L’Arche Communities in Clinton, Iowa, and Overland Park, Kansas, with homeless people and people living in extreme poverty at the Hubbard House in East St. Louis, Illinois.
At Shadowbrook Farms in Lincoln and the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice in St. Mary of the Woods, Indiana, students will learn about sustainable agricultural and the multifaceted work taking place on environmental protection.
New on the itinerary this year are trips to Wheeling, West Virginia, where students will work with Grow Ohio Valley, an organization promoting urban agriculture and food justice in Appalachia, and the Women’s Intercultural Center in Anthony, New Mexico, where recent immigrants gain hope and confidence to survive and thrive in their new surroundings.
Closer to home, students will also take part in working with diverse ethnic and economic communities at four Omaha-area organizations, including the Omaha Intercultural Senior Center, the Siena/Francis House, One World Community Health Center and the Yates Community Center.
Upon their return, selected students share a bit of their experience with the larger Creighton community, a much-anticipated event each year.
“We always look forward to hearing our students articulate what they saw, heard, felt, thought and did during these trips,” Peak said.
“It’s a moving experience for them, but it’s also an education for people here at Creighton to see how these students, the next generation of leaders, are taking the initiative to learn and do more to serve the greater good.”