News Center

Ten Students Spend Winter Break on Service Learning Trip to Eleuthera Island

Bahamas 3CONWAY, Ark. (January 23, 2017) – Ten Hendrix College students spent part of winter break on a service learning trip to Eleuthera Island.

The trip was sponsored by the Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling at Hendrix.

Student participants included:

  • Ethny Ashcraft ’18
  • Katie Bell ’20
  • Graydon Carter ’19
  • Isabella Crang ’19
  • Miracline Ebijoyeldhas ’18
  • Andrew Fleming ’18
  • Mackenzie Gearin ’20
  • Amanda Jimerson ’19
  • Claire Nissen ’19
  • Melissa Sorsby ’17

Bahamas 2The students were accompanied by Rev. J. Wayne Clark, Associate Vice President for Development and Dean of the Chapel, art professor Melissa Gill, and physics professor Dr. Todd Tinsley.

The group partnered with One Eleuthera Foundation and worked in a garden and recycling center, conducted breast cancer awareness surveys, taught in local schools, assisted with plumbing work, and conducted research to help start a junior college.

Hendrix has worked with the foundation for more than 15 years and has sent five mission teams to Eleuthera.

Student Reflections

Bahamas 1“The Miller Center trip has pushed me out of my comfort zone in ways that have expanded the path leading to my vocation. The enriching experiences I have had on Eleuthera have reminded me of the difference one person can make when giving service in whatever form,” said Ashcraft. “The cultural immersion I have experienced this week has allowed me to see how communities that seem so different can be so similar in the struggles they face. I hope to expand on this experience in the future in ways that allow me to practice the skills I have learned here.”

“The Miller Center trip has helped me form meaningful relationships with my Hendrix peers and the community member of Eleuthera,” said Ebijoyeldhas. “This trip has opened my eyes to the needs of communities other than my own and my potential role in serving those needs I hope to take the kindness and compassion the people of Eleuthera have showed me back to our Hendrix home.”

“The Miller Center trip to Eleuthera has given me a deeper understanding of why I want to help people through medicine, and not through other means, such as social work,” said Sorsby. “I have frequently had to answer why I want to practice medicine, but I hadn’t grasped why my desire to help people wasn’t fulfilled via other means.”

“This Miller Center trip has helped me…the ability that service has to be mutually beneficial to the receiving and those performing service work,” said Nissan. “For example, this trip has made me consider doing doctors without borders in my future to help those without access to medical care, because it would help me become a better person and doctor.”

“The Miller Center trip allowed me the opportunity to immerse myself in the Bahamian culture through service and conversation,” said Crang. “It taught me that I want to pursue work in the field of medicine with the hope of returning to the island and providing medical help.”

“This Miller Center trip has given me a better understanding of my personal strengths, reveals area in which I can improve, and broadened my understanding of the world around us,” said Carter. “During our time in the Bahamas, this group has learned many things about community, service, and leadership—all while attempting to serve those who need help the most.”

“The Miller Center trip has taught me the importance of starting conversations with just the intent of listening (which will lead to understanding),” said Jimerson. “I have learned that we all have something to gain from one another, even if just though sharing experiences and ideas.”

“This trip has challenged me to rethink the ways I approach doing service and building relationships. Each day has brought something new and I have learned more about myself, my peers, and our world in the process,” said Gearin. “I’m grateful for this experience and I’m excited to continue to grow and do service at Hendrix this semester.”

“The Miller Center trip has helped me understand what it means to form meaningful connections with people,” said Bell. “I’ve learned that it’s important to put your heart into everything you do, whether it be work or simple interactions with peers. The island of Eleuthera is a beautiful island and will stay with me forever.”

About Hendrix College

Hendrix College is a private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1876 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884, Hendrix is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges and is nationally recognized in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings for academic quality, community, innovation, and value. For more information, visit