Service learning opportunities change student perspectives and empower students to pursue work for the common good
"Today, my life was changed. As we walked into camp, the kids ran to us as we got off the bus with “love you's” and “hi.” It was humbling to see each of them share their food, water, love, and endless kindness. I never thought I could go to a place and not be homesick, but Haiti has changed my outlook on life."
—JASMINE VARGAS '19
More reflections on Haiti.
At St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School, we design service learning opportunities to change student perspectives and empower students to pursue work for the common good. The travel-based service learning opportunities we provide give students the ability to apply their knowledge to complex projects so that they can gain a greater understanding of the role and reward of a life of service. Through collaboration with communities around the world, many of which have bloomed into ongoing partnerships, we strive to help our students take meaningful action that improves the quality of life for all. Additionally, these rich global service learning opportunities may comprise the majority of a student's service project, a requirement for graduation. Up to 40 service project hours may be fulfilled through a global or national service through the school.
Read about the transformational global service learning experiences St. Stephen and St. Agnes students are having as told by them.
"My trip to Pro Vita Orphanage in Romania was an absolutely incredible experience, full of memories I'll never forget. It amazed me how quickly we all connected with one other, despite the fact that we were older and came from a different place. These kids were so generous with their love and compassion, I instantly felt welcomed into their family.
—RYAN VUONO '20
Reflections from Romania
"We asked questions about Cuban industry and housing, and we were surprised that a fair amount of the questions came from the Cubans in our group. It was interesting to see that there weren't really any homeless people. The economist had said that anyone could get a job working for the Cuban government. Apparently, the jobs come with free food and basic necessities as well."
—ZACH GAYDOS '19.
More amazing photos and reflections from Saints' 2018 Global Travel.
"We have so much that we don't think twice about and I realized how important it is to appreciate the little things. These kids are incredibly strong and make the best of their situation. This trip was eye opening and our group without hesitation, we all decided that we will be going to go back to Pro Vita. It was amazing to see how much we impacted these kids lives and how much they impacted ours in just a week."
—ALLISON VUONO '19
Read her reflection and others.
"I traveled to Guatemala with Where There Be Dragons, an organization that leads trips all over the world for people of all ages. Dragons aims to teach participants independence, self-awareness, and leadership, with an additional emphasis on global citizenship."
—SYLVIE WEIMAN '20
Read her full reflection.
Now, a whole new group of Saints, including some from middle school, are counting down the days until their own 2020 global adventure!
Destinations for Spring Break Travel vary and adjust each year based on interest, curricular fit and travel safety, such as health and regional political conditions. Here are some examples of recent or planned destinations.
Ecuador (Academic), France (Language Exchange), China (Cultural Exploration and Language Learning), Denmark (Academic Exchange), Israel (Academic), Panama (Service), Puerto Rico (Middle School service), Romania (Service), Canada (Middle School Cultural Exploration and Language Learning)
Destinations for Summer Travel
Bahamas (Academic), Haiti (Service), Japan (Academic), Peru (Service), Cuba (Service Learning), Haiti (Service Learning), Bahamas (Academic Exploration)