UMA students Amanda Griffin, Anaïs Gallaudec, Cassie Bates, Charlene Beringer, Juliette Heno, Léa Blanchard, and Lori Summers returned from a six-day Service Trip to Fayette County, West Virginia last week.
While there, they painted the porch of a local woman and cleaned, organized, and painted the volunteer dorms for the Southern Appalachian Labor School – a local non-profit that provides resources to address food insecurity, housing, emergency shelters, and afterschool programs in the area.
In addition to their service work, they took a tour of an exhibition coal mine, rode a jet boat up the New River Gorge, and learned all the verses to John Denver’s “Country Roads, Take Me Home”, which they sang on-stage with a local musician, Billy Payne.
A few students reflected on their experience:
“The UMA service trip to West Virginia was eye opening to the situation of what people are experiencing down there and the great need the communities are in. We experienced a lot of different excitement from various painting projects, playing with the local kids, and a day of adventure exploring the area. We all worked well together and bonded as a group from the beginning to end, and fond memories and friendships were made.” – Amanda Griffin
“It was a great experience and quite the fun times and a lot of memories right from the beginning with the tractor trailer truck and the switchback and Marcus saying “don’t deviate”. I had a lot of fun taking it upon myself to feed the pigs!!!! I enjoyed meeting everyone different that I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t go on the trip. I learned a lot about myself and learned I can make decisions on my own and I have learned to appreciate what I have instead of complaining about what I don’t have because there are a lot of people that have a lot less than I have.” – Lori Summers
“During our fall break, we went to West Virginia to give a helping hand to the Southern Appalachian Labor School. We painted (bathrooms, a porch), reorganized the living room and moved furniture (fridge, couch). We also had the opportunity to discover the state especially the New River Gorges National Park and its famous bridge. We had a great time all together 🙂 ” – Juliette, Anais and Léa