SERVICE LEARNING

Go Beyond the Classroom 

WHERE WE WORK

Since 2008, our program has partnered with organizations in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Kenya that have welcomed students into their communities to participate in mutually beneficial experiential service learning projects.

OUR PARTNERS

Students work with locally run organizations to improve economic conditions, education, environmental sustainability, gender equity, and health within their communities. These organizations include NGOs and nonprofits, primary and secondary schools, universities, language schools, orphanages, and women’s cooperatives.

ETHIOPIA

RWANDA

KENYA

WHAT WE DO

We first listen to our partners to see what we can do to benefit and empower the local community.  We then match our skill set with the partner's needs to co-create value for the local beneficiaries. After the students return home, their enthusiasm for their experience enables them to become ambassadors for their host partner and country and to educate their peers on the culture, people, and country we visited. We hope to build on the resources that our partners already have in order to optimize capacity and sustainable initiatives.

Students work with local schools and organizations to host educational children's camps to supplement learning. The camps focus on:

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Education 

  • Science Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education 

  • Life Skills and Decision Making 

  • Cultural Exchange 

  • Music and Theater

  • Sports

Students also help our partners to meet some of their other needs such as:

  • Painting and Murals

  • Gardening 

  • Construction 

  • Data Collection 

  • Monitoring and Evauation

  • Website Design

  • ESL and STEM Training for Local Staff

Prior to traveling to Africa, students receive 8 weeks of training to prepare them to enter the community and work with our partner organizations and communities. During these weeks, students work in their service-learning teams and with program leaders research, share, and discuss:​

  • The history and culture of the country

  • Ethical service learning abroad

  • Attitudes and values abroad 

  • The goals and needs of the organizations 

  • Preparation for educational camps and projects

  • Teaching and lesson planning

  • Classroom management and language barriers 

  • Ethical tourism, photography, and social media  

  • Pre and post reflection essays of your experience

WHY SERVICE LEARNING

We have structured our program to require students to experience the world beyond the boundaries of the classroom, look up from their phones, and interact with people who are different from them. By living and working with our partners in the local communities, our students can contrast their world of privilege with people who have few tangible resources but a strong sense of community and generosity. 

We are committed to ethical and sustainable service learning practices. While the tangible impact of  students' service learning efforts each semester are often small, our continued long-term interactions with our partners does bring them tangible benefits, including money raised by our students through individual fund raising and grants.  Our students typically become socially conscious global citizens and powerful advocates for their partners and host countries. To learn more about the impact our service learning experience has on our students and our partners in Africa, please visit our Impact Page

"It's a marathon, not a sprint"

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