Barry spring breakers hit the tropics for volunteer service

Barry spring breakers hit the tropics for volunteer service
Members of Barry’s ASB Program take a break from volunteer work to pose for a picture with staff from the Star of the Sea (S.O.S.) Foundation.

While many college students across the country spend spring break relaxing on the beach, two groups from Barry University visited the tropics to volunteer time and service in immersion trips. Members of Barry’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program visited Key West and the Dominican Republic, while students from the Division of Nursing visited Jamaica.

This is the sixth straight year ASB members have spent their spring break week engaged in community service. While in Key West, the ASB group spent four days working with the Star of the Sea (S.O.S.) Foundation to support their outreach to those in need of food and housing assistance. The students worked in the S.O.S. food pantry sorting and arranging items in the warehouse, and serving meals.

In addition to their work in Key West, an additional seven Barry ASB members traveled to the Dominican Republic to assist at the Espiritu Santo Fey Alegria School in Bani. This group facilitated educational and recreational activities with the students of the school. Espiritu Santo Fey Alegria is a primary school operated by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

ASB, a program that exists on many college campuses, is a student-run organization that is dedicated to making the world a better place through its volunteer service. In previous years, Barry’s ASB has volunteered as part of relief efforts in New Orleans, La., following Hurricane Katrina, at Haitian Community Centers in Miami after the 2010 earthquake, and in Pensacola, Fla., in sea life recovery efforts.

Students from Barry’s Division of Nursing spent two weeks in Jamaica as part of an international Nursing Study Abroad Program (N-SAP). The group worked with local public health nurses and performed cultural assessment and health screenings on local residents who otherwise may not have the opportunity to meet with a health professional. In addition to their service work, the nursing students met with Jamaica’s minister of health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson.

The immersion trips by Barry’s ASB and Division of Nursing students demonstrate an obligation to the university’s mission and core commitments, which include social justice, collaborative service, and individual and communal transformation.