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More than 200 students to serve across the U.S. this fall break

SCSJ Service and Justice TripsOn Friday, 234 Creighton students will embark on weeklong or half-week Service & Justice Trips, seeking to serve and learn in host communities across the United States.

At each of the 30 different sites, the fall Schlegel Center for Service and Justice (SCSJ) trips allow students to fully immerse themselves through the service they do, the people they meet, and the Ignatian methods they use to reflect each day.

New this fall, are trips hosted by Cap Corps in Detroit and Abide in North Omaha.

In Detroit, students will have the opportunity to learn ways in which residents empower themselves to change their world. Following the teaching of Fr. Solanus Casey, students will feed those who are hungry, and understand the systems that oppress and marginalize groups and communities.

At Abide, students will work with CEO and Creighton alumnus Josh Dotzler, to tutor and mentor children in North Omaha. They’ll also learn of the Abide’s efforts to improve the local community, including the “Lighthouses” —houses that are fixed up as family dwellings where residents coordinate positive community building activities to build strong neighborhoods.

Other trips include working with people experiencing homelessness in Albuquerque, those with multiple disabilities in Axtell, Nebraska and those with intellectual disabilities in Clinton, Iowa. In Stroud, Oklahoma, students will work with Habitat for Humanity to build houses for those affected by a tornado. Traveling to Wheeling, West Virginia, students will learn about energy consumption and production, and its environmental and human costs. Each of the 30 sites provides a unique opportunity for learning and reflection.

Each group is lead by two student coordinators, who go through extensive training beforehand.

“It’s an incredible leadership opportunity for students to be able to lead a group of peers,” says SCSJ assistant director Jeff Peak. “The service, learning and reflection that group members do informs and deepens the experiences of others in the group.”

While on the trips, students are asked to unplug, removing themselves from social media, texts and calls throughout the trip, an experience they later admit made them feel “much more free.”

Though the trips only last a week, the impact can be felt for a lifetime – influencing their courses of study, careers, faith and civic engagement.

“People go on trips for a variety of reasons,” says Peak. “They’re looking to have experiences where they get out of their comfort zones by engaging justice issues in a variety of ways. That’s just who Creighton students are. They want these experiences and view them as important educational opportunities.”

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Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.