Mercy College students and staff participate in spring break service-learning experience

Kathryn Bubrig

Service-learning experiences are a valuable supplement to the education students receive in the classrooms and labs of Mercy College of Ohio. Over Spring Break in early March, students, faculty, and staff embarked on a service-learning trip to David, Kentucky.

Each year, Sr. Sally Marie Bohnett, SND, BS, MA, Director of Campus Ministry & Service Learning, leads a group of students on an Alternative Spring Break Trip. “This year we returned to David, Kentucky, for the fourth time” said Sister Sally. “Seven students, College Instructional Science Laboratory Supervisor Michael
Whitmer, Nursing Instructor Shannon Murphy, and I traveled to the St. Vincent Mission. Students from both the Toledo campus and the Youngstown location participated in the trip. Our primary task was to try to understand the conditions of those who are economically poor in this Appalachian area.”

Along with providing needed home service (building handicapped ramps, painting, etc.) the group came to know the people they served. It is the experience of being with the people they serve that is a gift of any service-learning experience. The daily evening prayer and reflection gave the group the chance to pray with one another and process the blessings of the day.

Reflecting on the trip and the learning experience, Associate Degree Radiologic Technology student Morgan McConnell said, "It's the little things we can do that really make a difference." Joanne Bartos, an associate degree nursing student at the Youngstown campus noted, "It really wasn't work because of all the fun we had. Even on a rainy, gloomy day we got lots finished and had meaningful experiences!”


Image of Group of Spring Break Trip Participants

Back Row, Left to Right – Tiffany Cairl, Shannon Murphy, Sr. Sally, Mike Whitmer, Kelsey Lorentz, Joanne Bartos
Front row of seated individuals, Left to Right – Kaitlyn Mueller, Kelsey Regis, Morgan McConnell, Dominque Bishop 

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