Many Creighton students spent their spring break on Service and Justice Trips, organized through the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice.
This spring saw 16 trips working across the United States in 15 different locations. The locations visited this spring included: New Mexico, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Alabama, Mississippi, Indiana, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Four service sites were also in Nebraska, three of which are located directly in Omaha.
Jeff Peak, Assistant Director of the SCSJ, said that the service site locations for the trips this spring had all partnered with the SCSJ in the past.
Addressing the significance of returning to the same locations each year, Peak said, “I think it’s a testament to the long-standing relationships that we’ve had with our partners over the years. For instance, we started partnering with Habitat for Humanity in Stroud, Oklahoma in 2006. The community in Stroud is something that is easily seen, and felt by the students as soon as they arrive. By the end of the week, some of the students were in tears at having to come back to Creighton because they formed such deep relationships during their Service and Justice Trip.”
“These experiences are so profoundly impactful — many times influencing course of studies, major, and vocation.” Peak has seen the impact that these service sites have on students after they return to Creighton.
Katie Coleman, a Junior in the College of Nursing, returned as a Coordinator this year for the trip to Okolona, Mississippi. Her group focused on education, but she recognized other issues that accompanied it, “we found a lot of intersecting issues with race, poverty and religion.”
“The [trips] have opened my eyes to correlating issues in my hometown and in Omaha. It is easy to look at other cities and point out everything going wrong, but these trips have showed me how there are significant problems that need attention where I live.”
Coleman believes that these trips have granted her the opportunity to open her eyes to the issues the country faces as well as granted students a platform to discuss controversial issues with other students.