CONWAY, Ark. (June 7, 2012) - Nine Hendrix College students spent the week after graduation (May 13-19) with Island Journeys, a non-profit organization on Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas "dedicated to strengthening, rebuilding and transforming island communities." The service experience was sponsored by the Hendrix Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling.
Student participants include:
- Emily Cariker '14 from Rockwall, Texas
- Jenna Gottschalk '13 from Lenexa, Kan.
- Karl Heinbockel '12 from Little Rock, Ark.
- Trey Kalbaugh '13 from Mount Vernon, Mo.
- Meredith McKinney '14 from Batesville, Ark.
- Josi Robertson '13 from Russellville, Ark.
- Trey Signorelli '15 from Keller, Texas
- Sara Slimp '12 from Tyler, Texas
- Maia Yang '13 from Hot Springs.
Much of the week was spent engaging with the community through service work and conversation with community members, according to Rev. J.J Whitney '96, associate chaplain and associate director of the Miller Center, who accompanied the student group, along with Karl Lenser, director of the Wellness and Athletics Center.
Service work included building the walls of a home for a family in Banneman Town; leading after-school recreation for children at the Banneman Town Library; painting the ceiling of the South Eleuthera Emergency Partners Center and sorting fire outfits for fire stations throughout the island.
The students also spent time learning about the economic problems facing an island that has 75 percent unemployment and had meaningful conversations with local women to develop a sustainable business plan for them.
"Working with the director of Island Journeys, Shaun Ingraham, and his staff was an amazing part of our journey," said Whitney. "Shaun took time to sit with us and explain how the staggering unemployment has directly affected communities on the island. He also shared his vision for a more sustainable community where folks can provide for their families and secure education for their children."
"He reinforced the Miller Center's mission for these trips when he told us that our week would be about 'the conversation and not the solution.' In focusing on our time in listening to stories rather than completing tasks, we were able to share more of ourselves rather than just our volunteer work and resources," she said. "We built more than a house on the island; we built relationships with the people we met."
Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. Hendrix was named the country's #1 "Up and Coming" liberal arts college for the third consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2011 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country's best 376 colleges and is listed in the 2012 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges as one of 25 "Best Buy" private colleges included. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.