By Marianne Brigola, Career Fellow 2011-2012
Like Ashley, I had the opportunity to accompany of group of students on an Alternative Spring Break group through the Elon Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. My group traveled to Atlanta, GA to work on three different project related to urban poverty. The entire trip was student-led and organized; my primary role was just to serve as a faculty representative in case of an emergency.
One of projects was working with the Cool Girls organization in Atlanta, a non-profit after-school mentoring program for girls, aimed at mentorship and increasing positive self-image. We had the opportunity to tour their cool, pink downtown office where the students learned more about the organization and their task for the week. The students went to three different elementary schools, where they tutored students and then performed a skit on healthy family relationships for the students, followed by leading discussion groups.
I could tell the Elon students had a great time interacting with the girls and the girls seemed to really enjoy talking with them as well!
We also worked with the Atlantic Community Food Bank in their community garden, Product Rescue Center and Kids in Need programs as well as with a homeless men’s shelter.
In addition to the various service projects, we had the opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of Atlantic with a hike on Stone Mountain one day.
Our trip coordinators Carling A. and Kim L. did a great job organizing the trip: from the logistics of where we stayed to our daily schedules, to leading our reflection sessions. I was really impressed with their coordination and planning skills. It was great getting to know students outside of the Elon campus and I’m so thankful to the students, the Kernodle Center and the SPDC for allowing me to participate in such a wonderful experience!