SALISBURY, MD---While thousands of college students throughout the country headed toward Ft. Lauderdale, Cancun and other popular destinations for spring break, eight Salisbury University students spent their vacation in a foster home.
During the first SU-sponsored alternative spring break program, students with the Global Program Service Group assisted some 37 foster children in Cartago, Costa Rica. These children were also on a “spring break” of sorts, out of school for Easter week. SU students planned activities and played with the children while also helping clean the home and assisting the youngsters with hygiene from nail clipping to hair cutting.
Students attending included marketing major Margaret Evans of Ocean City, MD; nursing major Megan Markline of Aberdeen, MD; environmental issues major Juliana Humphreys of Street, MD; business administration major Rachel McGinley of Fruitland, MD; international studies major Aidan Tacheron of Ipswich, MA; business administration major Kay Johnson of Salisbury; English major Dan Caton of Salisbury and history major Mel Morrissey of Mt. Kisco, NY.
“The experience was enjoyable, amusing, enlightening and heart-wrenching all at the same time,” said Dr. Jill Caviglia-Harris of SU’s Economics and Finance Department, who supervised the trip. “With an open mind, willing heart, and the desire to help, these students not only explored the rewarding nature of volunteer work and humanitarian endeavors, but also ultimately discovered themselves.”
Initiated by the SU Economics Society, the trip was funded through a variety of events including poker tournaments, a 5K run and a bingo. Students also performed odd jobs for local community members in exchange for trip funding.
“My experience really shaped my world view- it made me realize how similar people of all walks of life really are and I feel so blessed to have been able to learn as much as I did,” said Humphreys.
For some students, the trip was even more personal.
“One of the little girls colored a picture of a mama elephant and a baby elephant and gave it to me with the words ‘I love you’ written on it,” said Johnson. “That moment melted my heart.”
The program was arranged by Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) an international not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 with no political or religious affiliations.
“With the assistance from the Student Government Association, the SU administration and the Center for International Education we are hoping to develop and annual program,” said Caviglia-Harris.
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.