Students Head to Appalachia for Spring Break

Friday, February 22, 2008

PHILADELPHIA (February 22, 2008) - For most students, spring break is a chance to escape to tropical locations or simply lounge at home, disconnected for a moment from the responsibilities of college. But for more than 300 Saint Joseph's University students, the week is a chance to participate in the Appalachian Experience, the University's largest single community service program.

Formerly known as Project Appalachia, the program takes students to towns in the Appalachian regions of Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia, where they collaborate with Habitat for Humanity to repair, renovate, and rebuild flood-damaged homes and to raise new houses in the area. Students, led by members of the University's staff and faculty, will leave for the 10 sites on February 29 and return on March 8.

"Saint Joseph's is deeply rooted in service to others, and the Appalachian Experience is one of many ways that students get to see the people they help first-hand," said Matt Fullmer, immersion programs coordinator at SJU. "There's a poignant contrast between the natural beauty of the Appalachian region and the poverty in which its residents live. Once they see it, the students become extremely motivated to assist the residents as much as they possibly can."

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