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February 13, 2017 7:47 AM

Conestoga volunteers use Student Success Week to make global impact

Ten Conestoga student volunteers will travel to San Jose, Costa Rica on February 25 to assist with a week-long construction project. The trip has been organized by Conestoga Students Incorporated (CSI), Conestoga’s on-campus student association.

This marks the fourth Global Service Leadership (GSL) excursion organized by CSI and will offer students a unique opportunity to enhance their cultural awareness and make a global impact. In addition to assisting on the construction project, students will experience Costa Rican culture by learning Spanish and staying with local residents. For many student volunteers, this will be the first time they experience a culture so different from their own.

“I’ve never been on a trip like this before,” said Mansi Baxi, an international student in the Mobile Solutions Development program. “I’m in my final year at the college and wanted to participate before I graduate. I think this is a great chance to make a difference in another community and explore a new culture. It’s also been fun getting to know the other students who are going.”

Darcee Carnes, CSI’s student engagement coordinator, said the group of volunteers worked with a coordination service to determine where help is needed and chose Costa Rica. Last year, the GSL volunteers travelled to Guatemala. Students are required to cover their own expenses and have already organized a number of fundraisers to help offset costs associated with the trip.

The group will find out more about the project they will be helping with closer to the date of their departure; Baxi said the volunteers are excited to learn more about the work they will be doing abroad.

“This trip is going to make me step outside my comfort zone,” she said. “I’m picky about food, and living with a homestay family will be new for me, but I’m excited to learn about a new culture and make new connections. This is a chance to help. I don’t want to live just for myself.”

For more information about Conestoga’s Global Service Leadership program, or to make a donation towards the trip, contact Darcee Carnes

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