In helping others, we often learn about ourselves: A senior’s service story in Shaw, MS

Singing and playing instruments for retirees in assisted living homes. Helping kindergarteners learn to read. Playing basketball with sixth graders after school. Organizing shelves in local food pantries. Luckyday Scholars volunteer with so many organizations all across the Pine Belt and beyond throughout the year. Scholars are asked to volunteer 20 hours a semester, and many go well beyond that number.

Some students take the opportunity to jump into an immersion service experience through partnerships on campus. Luckyday senior Gaqueta Alexander joined the Center for Community Engagement‘s alternative spring break trip March 10-13, 2018. Here is her story she wanted to share about taking advantage of this opportunity!

Alternative Break Trip
by Gaqueta Alexander 

During our spring break, I decided to serve with the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) on the alternative spring break trip. We went to Shaw, Mississippi, and served at Delta Hands for Hope.

GeeGee

While serving with the CCE, I learned that social change can start with me. I learned that I can make a difference by doing my part. By striving for social change, others may become inspired to join in on the movement.

Service in Shaw impacted me because I was able to learn about the challenges that people in that area face. I was able to learn from the children and strive to make a difference in my life. Now, I have the heart to return one day to continue to impact that area in a positive way.

What I learned about the CCE is that the office provides opportunities for students to inspire change through service. If I had the time, I would be willing to serve the CCE and Delta Hands for Hope in the future.

During this trip, I not only connected with others that came to serve, but I also connected with the children. During one of the reading sessions with the children, I had the chance to talk to a student and ask her about her goals and aspirations. At that moment, I saw myself in her. I remember being her age, dealing with the same kind of economic background. I remember dreaming big just like she was. At that moment, I started to encourage her and tell her to continue to dream big and never give up. That was a special moment for me.

Overall, this experience transformed the way I think of service, and I now know more about social change and how to ignite social change!

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