Service project ‘Destination’ continues to seek participants
October 16, 2008
The Destination Service Program that takes place over this year’s spring break is continuing to look for potential students as the application deadline of Oct. 31 approaches.
Destination is a hands-on, week long trip in which students selected to participate go to one of four locations and act as a volunteer to work on an issue.
The locations are Greensburg, Kan., Houston, Texas, Perryville, Ark. and Atlanta, Ga. The issues are tornado relief, Hurricane Ike relief, hunger issues and urban issues.
The hurricane and tornado relief will largely involve clean-up, restoration, and possibly small scale demolition.
“The first thing that really interested me about this program was the fact that it was a service project,” senior Amie Stillman, a third year Destination volunteer and trip leader for Perryville, Ark., said. “I love helping people who are in need. I also love to travel so I saw the Destination program as dual purpose with traveling and service projects.”
Program organizers are looking to get roughly 36 students involved. Student Manager Jacob Cavanaugh also said they hope to get more male participation for diversity if possible since past Destination outings have been occupied almost entirely by female students. The program itself is almost entirely organized by students.
This year will be Cavanaugh’s second in Destination as well as his first as student manager.
“Helping other people and working so closely with the community really offers a lifelong experience,” he said.
Cavanaugh gave an example of the gratification felt from others when he stated how on one of the past outings, a person they were assisting said “I can’t believe you came all the way down from Minnesota just to paint my house.”
Senior Stephanie Kipka is participating in Destination for the second time this year and will be a trip leader for the Atlanta group. She said Destination is her favorite college experience by far.
“My biggest regret is not doing it sooner,” Kipka said.
Kipka, an education major, was able to work with elementary school students during her last trip in Destination when she went to California to work in an outdoor science program. Like Cavanaugh and Stillman, Kipka said her desire to help others in need was her motivation to join the program.
“Changing another person’s life gives you a high,” Kipka said
According to Cavanaugh, the biggest factor that makes students hesitant to apply to the program is cost. The trip cost is $350 with $50 of that being paid with the application and covers everything on the trip such as meals, lodging and transportation. The only thing not covered by the fee is meals on the actual drive to the location.
Destination has existed since 2006 when students were involved with Hurricane Katrina relief. Destination has also done work in areas such as Tennessee and Washington D.C.
Students interested in Destination can pick up and submit applications or ask questions at the involvement center in the University Center.