Students escape by helping others

By Kaitlin Barr
October 6, 2006

Service immersion trips are available to any Cabrini student who loves the idea of getting away from their normal everyday life, to lead a simple lifestyle, while helping people in need. There are three different service immersion programs at Cabrini College. They include Project Appalachia in West Virginia, the Rostro de Cristo Experience in Ecuador, and the New York City Immersion Experience.

Project Appalachia sends 15-18 students to West Virginia to help homeowners refurbish or help rebuild their homes. Campus minister Laura Gorgol said this year Cabrini College will continue to collaborate with the West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Work Camps. These students who have the opportunity to travel to West Virginia will truly be able to experience life in a different part of the country.

Junior English and communication major, George Post, said, “Being able to make a difference in the lives of those people was a great experience. It was honestly the best week of my life so far,” about going on Project Appalachia his freshman year. This year, he is a student leader for this trip. When asked if he recommended students go on this trip, he said, “Yes! I recommend everyone to go on this trip. It’s a great experience what the people give you is greater that what you can ever hope to give them,” Post said.

The Rostro de Cristo trip is meant to help students have a truly religious experience. “The program invites participants to be in a relationship with the Ecuadorian people and reflect on the face of Christ in their joys and struggles,” Gorgol said. Students will experience leading a simple lifestyle as well as building an intentional Christian community.

The New York City Immersion Experience is a unique immersion trip, in that it follows the footsteps of Mother Cabrini to learn about past and present day immigration issues. Students get to explore New York City while partnering up with the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This also helps students understand the mission of Cabrini College as well as its patroness.

“I had a great time on the NYC trip last year,” senior, sociology major, Phil Nicolo, said. “I connected with the people on the trip since we were all living together and spending a lot of time together.”

When asked if he thought students would enjoy this trip, Nicolo said, “Who doesn’t love Christmas in New York! Everyone should go on this trip because it’s always a fun time.” According to Nicolo, students will have time to do some Christmas shopping, as well as get to visit Ellis Island and Ground Zero.

Both Nicolo and Post are leaders for these trips. They both loved these trips and believe every student who would happen to go on these trips would absolutely love it. The people who went on these trips were truly great and they connected with all of them. They have so many memories and look forward to going back on these trips, according to Nicolo and Post.

Project Appalachia will be over spring break, from Feb. 25 to March 2. The Rostro de Cristo Experience will occur over spring break as well, this will happen from Feb. 24 to March 4. The New York City trip is over Christmas time. Applications are located in the Wolfington Center.

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Kaitlin Barr

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