Spring Break Trip Exposes Students to Higher Heights
Caption: Left to Right (back row) Danielle Hogate, Brandon Edwards, Dezmonique Garris, Jonathan Walker, Deion Anthony, Christopher Banks, Luica Davis, Uwem Etuk (middle row) Pairrys Ransom, Denee Bottoms, Ayse Durak, Emmanuel Carter, Delnecia James, Myles McConner, Shaderica Sibley (front row) Monique Willis, , Diamond Gilles, Terayia Bryant, Isiah Carr
By Keisha N. Reynolds, Communications and Marketing Intern
While some students traveled home, or to vacation destinations during spring break, several students decided to spend their break devoted to leadership and service activities with NSU’s Living-Learning Communities.
The Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) program seeks to support the mission of Norfolk State University by fostering enlightened living communities that maximize students’ academic and personal growth. LLCs allow students to live together in the same residence hall, share common courses and participate in a number of out-of-classroom experiences such as field trips, service learning projects and workshops with students expressing similar interests.
Seventeen students traveled to New York, Washington, D.C., and Canada as a part of the “lead through service” travel experience.
Jonathan Walker, assistant dean of students and director for living-learning communities, traveled along with the students and believed that this trip exposed them to so much outside of their norm. “It allowed many of them to do things for the first time. Many had not been out of the country, rode public transportation, purchased a Metro Card, or gone to a musical,” Walker said.
Students participating in the LLC enrolled in a special section of Introduction to University Life which allowed them to focus on leadership opportunities.
During their experience, students visited iconic American and Canadian sights such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; Time Square, 42nd Street, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in New York; and the CN Tower of Toronto and Niagara Falls in Canada.
Students also facilitated a community service project in New York by volunteering at St. Paul’s House Soup Kitchen.
Brandon Edwards, LLC graduate assistant, who had never visited New York or Canada before this encounter, believes it broadened his horizons.
“The key concept I took away from the trip is that you cannot be scared to step out of your comfort zone because it is a big world out here and there is plenty to see and do,” Edwards said.
Upon their return students reflected and discussed the sights they visited as it relates to common beliefs and ideas about America, in comparison to Canada.
Eighty-four students are participating in three LLCs including DNIMAS, the Honors College/Leadership Academy and Spartan Hope Academy. If you would like to get involved with the LLC program, they are launched at the beginning of each academic year.
Walker hopes to expand the program next year to offer a total of nine LLCs, adding S.U.C.C.E.S.S, G.E.N.E.S.I.S, Spartans LIVE WELL, iSpartan, EMPOWER LLC and STARS.