For the last three years, the Ursinus Bonner Leaders have traveled to Beeston Springs over spring break to rebuild and repaint damaged homes, schools and orphanages. The Ursinus students have created a special relationship with the tiny impoverished community of Beeston Springs.
The group was supervised by Dr. Christian Rice, Director of Bonner Program and Elizabeth Cannon 2010, director of UCARE.
“Going to Jamaica really opened my eyes to reflecting on my own life and how I need to learn to appreciate all that I have and all that I’ve been given,” says Kaitlyn Cherry 2013. This spring, the eight Bonner Leaders returned from a successful and thought-provoking Spring Break service trip inspired to continue helping others.
“Going to Jamaica was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much about their culture and social problems that they have to deal with,” says Paige Fronheiser 2014.
“I feel like it reinvigorates the passion I have for helping people,” says Liam Marston 2013.
The Bonner Leaders joined Moravian College students, as well as Moravian Seminary students, in helping to rebuild and paint homes and schools. “Going to Jamaica for Spring Break was hands down one of the most powerful and thought-provoking experiences of my life. It was an opportunity that allowed me to witness a piece of the world for what it actually is, rather than what it’s commercialized to be,” says Daria DePaul 2012. “This trip opened my eyes in so many ways. It took me out of the Ursinus bubble and placed me in a real world situation where the people know and enjoy what is important to them.”
The exposure to extreme poverty was an eye-opening experience for most of the Ursinus students and allowed them an opportunity to gain understanding of many social problems in an international context.
“I find it enlightening that some of the problems there are similar to the ones here, and feel as though I can use what I’ve learned there to help with the problems here,” says DePAul. “Touching the life of just one person could inspire that person to do the same. In my last two months of America Reads, I’m hoping to touch at least one more child, and inspire them to go on to do amazing things in middle school, high school, and beyond.”