Project Serve at Pepperdine is a tradition as close to the heart of the University Mission as it is possible to be. Every year during spring break, when students have a week to kick back and relax, dozens of Seaver College students instead donate their time to Project Serve, volunteering in groups at home and abroad.
During the first week of March, 167 students divided in to 15 teams to serve 17 partner organizations in Fiji, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Florida, New York, Arizona, Washington, and New Hampshire.
"We take pride in knowing that students are able to learn about themselves and the greater community by spending their spring break serving with one of our many partners in the US and abroad," says Peter Thompson, director of the Pepperdine Volunteer Center. "Each project is unique and we have made an intentional decision to partner with year-round sustainable organizations that benefit from our students working along-side them and not for them."
The groups assisted communities with health care (Fiji), education (Fiji and New York), orphanage assistance (Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Guatemala), community and urban development (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Florida, Hawaii, and Washington), environmental projects (the rainforest in Puerto Rico), a Native American tribe (Arizona), and Christian addiction recovery (New Hampsire).
"Project Serve is week that embodies the Pepperdine mission from start to finish," Thompson notes. "Each trip is student led with locally identified service full of time to reflect on life, faith and community."
For more information about Project Serve, visit the Pepperdine Volunteer Center website.
Photos: Courtesy of Natalie Lewis, depicting her group's trip to a rural village in Guatemala, where they built energy efficient stoves and installed water filters.