Outreach Break Trips
What is an Outreach Trip?
Outreach Trips place groups of students and staff in domestic and international settings during Fall, Winter, and Spring Breaks for experiential learning and service in community. These trips aim to strengthen the University's relationships beyond the Mountain, and offer students a greater understanding of the world around them. For over 20 years, a broad and affordable set of opportunities has been offered to students.
Where do we go?
There are several trips offered throughout the academic year over Fall Break, Winter Break, and Spring Break.
Costa Rica: Community and Environmental Education
The Costa Rica Outreach Trip visits the Cloud Forest School in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Students partner with the school to help maintain the ecological biodiversity of its campus, as well as provide a comprehensive educational experience to its students. These direct engagement components are coupled with the unique experience of staying in homestays with families from the Cloud Forest School. By living and working with these families, students are able to cultivate powerful relationships the Cloud Forest School community. Meant for engagement, exploration, and immersion, the Costa Rica Outreach trip provides powerful and life-lasting experiences for everyone involved.
Trip Leader: Kayla Deep
Ecuador: Fellowship and Ministry
In Quito, students of all faith backgrounds will explore fellowship and ministry through a Latin American lens. Our site host, Cameron Graham, is a Sewanee alumna who serves as a missionary in Ecuador training youth ministry leaders and working to reach out to youth in Quito. The Ecuador Outreach Trip supports direct service at local schools and churches in Quito. Participants can also expect to experience the artisans market in Quito, as well as an afternoon at El Refugio retreat center in the Andean countryside.
Trip Leader: Lauren Goodpaster
Jamaica: Mapping the Epicenter of Reggae
In the neighborhood of Trench Town in Kingston, Jamaica, Sewanee students will be constructing an interactive digital map that will reference former residents of notable musicians, craft producers, food and beverage locations, neighborhood subdivision nomenclature, and travel routes. Professor of Geographic Information Systems Chris Van de Ven will train the group in this technology. Participants will in turn work with local residents of Trench Town to develop and edit this map which will be connected to social media platforms to help link locals and tourists for the best possible access to important locations. 2019 is the Office of Civic Engagement's twenty-ninth year traveling to Kingston, Jamaica.
Trip Leader: Dixon Myers
Haiti: Sustainable International Development
Sewanee's partnerships in Cange, Haiti with Zanmi Agrikol (ZA), a Haitian agricultural NGO, and sister organization to Zanmi Lasante (ZL, Partners in Health) have helped create opportunities for our faculty, staff and students to participate in long-term development work. This trip will expose students to our agricultural re-forestation project and our photo project. This opportunity can lead to advanced work in the country through various programs under the direction of the Haiti Institute in Sewanee (HIS).
Trip Leaders: Dixon Myers, Professor Deborah McGrath
Miami: Education in America
Over Sewanee’s 20 year history working in Miami, the Miami Outreach Experience has grown to center around classroom tutoring at the secondary level in a local public school, contrasted by days spent in the non-traditional education environment of "Shake-a-Leg," an outdoor program for children and adults living with physical, developmental, and economic challenges. Along with supplemental service experiences, these opportunities allow participants to engage with and critically analyze education in the United States. When they are not participating in direct service, students have the opportunity to spend their free time exploring Miami and nearby South Beach.
Trip Leader: Barbara Banks
New Orleans: Race and Recovery
The University of the South has more than a 20-year history of engagement in New Orleans. During this Spring Break experience, students will work closely with lowernine.org. lowernine.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the long-term recovery of the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the levee breaches of 2005. Additionally, participants will work with Jericho Road – a neighborhood-based nonprofit homebuilder that provides families with healthy and energy-efficient affordable housing opportunities. Participants will visit and celebrate the House of Dance and Feathers, visit the Whitney Plantation, participate in direct service through construction work in the Lower Ninth Ward and Central City, and much more. Participants will gain a broader perspective on how Hurricane Katrina impacted and continues to impact the area, in addition to understanding how the Civil Rights Movement, #blacklivesmatter, and Beyonce's Lemonade intersect.
Trip Leader: Sharron Bockman
How much does it cost?
Trips cost anywhere from $150 - $2000. Need-based financial aid is available for most trips. The total cost includes all travel, accommodation, and food expenses. Student fees are supplemented with year-to-year fundraising after payment commitments are made. A student's financial need does not determine participation, and everyone is encouraged to apply.
Who is eligible to participate?
If you are a current student, you are eligible. If you have already participated in an Outreach Trip, consider applying for a different location. Interviews, previous service experience, and class year determine selection for trips. Leadership positions are available for students interested in repeating a trip.
What is the commitment?
Attendance at weekly meetings during the month(s) leading up to your trip is mandatory. All Outreach Trip participants are required to take part in a letter writing campaign to solicit donations, as well as participate in their trip's fundraising initiatives. Some trips integrate pre-trip advanced project development work.