AWOL Students Serving in Illinois and Ecuador

Image USD student in Ecquador A USD student on an earlier AWOL trip to Ecuador.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Twenty-three University of South Dakota students will spend part of their summer break in two different locations learning about social issues and serving in communities.

The trips were planned and coordinated by student site leaders in the AWOL (Alternative Week of Off-campus Learning) student organization. AWOL encourages active citizenship through immersing students in educational service-learning experiences, exposing them to diverse social issues and encouraging students to apply the real world learning gained through these experiences to their daily lives.

One AWOL group will spend a week in Cairo, Illinois, learning about community development. They’ll work with a wide variety of community and nonprofit organizations in the areas of education, poverty, crime and unemployment including, the Delta Center (mental health center), Daystar Care Center (human service organization and thrift store/food bank), Cairo Women’s Shelter and Cairo Head Start.

Participants of the AWOL Cairo trip: site leader Brianna Brage, a health sciences major from Watertown, South Dakota; Sage Kipfer, an elementary education major from Bingham Lake, Minnesota; Tamee Livermont, a medical biology major from Martin, South Dakota; Brandi Merritt, a health sciences major from Gary, South Dakota; and Anna Madsen, a political science major from Ruthton, Minnesota.

Eighteen students and learning partner Emily Dykstra will travel to Esmeraldas, Ecuador, with the MEDLIFE organization to provide medical consultations during their week of service. “The trip will give students the unique opportunity to experience medical needs of rural South America and interact with individuals recovering from natural disaster,” Dykstra said. The MEDLIFE organization believes that “access to quality health care is a basic human right.” It seeks to send mobile units across the world to provide care and improve access to MEDs: Medicine, Education and community Development.

Trip participants, major and hometown: Shayna Possail, health sciences, Tyler, Minnesota; Kristi Livermont, health sciences, Pierre, South Dakota; Abbie Wieseler, pre-nursing, Pierre; Cori Marx, nursing, Sioux City, Iowa; Ceara Harris, pre-nursing, Auburn, Washington; Krystal Freidel, nursing, Ethan, South Dakota; Lisa Patterson, health services administration, Omaha, Nebraska; Katherine Haverly, health sciences, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Jena Dreyer, medical biology, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Katie Rodig, biology-physiology, cell and molecular, Yankton, South Dakota; Jacob Haiar, medical biology, Mitchell, South Dakota; Jackson Shriver, medical biology, Watertown, South Dakota; Makayla Dietrich, nursing, Vermillion; Jack Vogel, biology, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Megan Jorgensen, medical biology, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Kacie Jacobsen, medical biology, Canton, South Dakota; Jase Likness, kinesiology, Yankton, South Dakota; and Jessie Sadlon, medical biology, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

ABOUT THE AWOL PROGRAM

Housed in the Center for Academic Engagement and Global Engagement, AWOL (Alternative Week of Off-Campus Learning) offers students the opportunity to combine community service with education during academic breaks. Prior to departure, students participate in six weeks of educational training. By utilizing experiences and education, AWOL enables students to become active citizens whose community becomes a priority in their everyday life and provides them with avenues for continued community involvement and learning.

PRESS CONTACT

Michael Ewald
605-658-6271
usdnews@usd.edu
@usd
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