Spring break is a time of relaxation for many, but for more than 50 Pipers the week was spent serving various communities nationwide.
The annual Catalyst spring break trips, through the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service, and Social Justice, give students the opportunity to use reflective service to investigate questions of justice in society. Students travel to cities around the U.S. to experience first hand and take action on these issues through community service. This year students traveled to locales such as New Orleans, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Chicago.
“It’s always amazing to see students engage with different service opportunities and locales in unique ways,” Matt Petersen, a senior and the leader of the Chicago trip said.
Each trip is designed to focus on a specific topic such as hunger, homelessness, LGBTQIA communities, or multi-faith perspectives, and aims to build relationships with the communities with whom they serve. The trips also provide a venue for experiential learning, in which students are able to put concepts learned in the classroom—such as the poverty cycle and civic engagement—into practice.
"Catalyst allowed me to explore new communities and new ways of approaching service," Michael Riley, a senior and participant on the San Francisco trip, said. "It was an amazing experience.