College students go the distance to help others for Reading Week

They may be heading to warmer climates for their Reading Week break, but several of Niagara College students have helping others on their itinerary.

One group bound for Honduras will have soccer balls, jerseys and other recreation equipment in tow, to bring to poverty stricken children in Honduras. Another is preparing to roll up their sleeves and work on a community build project as part of a Me to We volunteer trip to Nicaragua.

Both groups are supported by the College’s Be World Ready International Field Studies program, which aims to broaden the horizons and cultural awareness of students through travel, as they learn to apply their areas of expertise in an international environment.

A group of Justice Studies students will travel to Nicaragua to as part of a Me to We Volunteer trip from Feb. 28 to March 7.

Me to We offers volunteer travel experiences to empower young people to change the world. The group will be led by Jim Norgate, program coordinator for the College’s Police Foundations program. Norgate has been organizing annual Me to We volunteer trips for students on Reading Week since 2014 and describes them as life-changing experiences for all involved. In 2014, the students travelled to Nicaragua where they helped build a Grade 2 classroom for a school, without power or modern conveniences. Last year, they travelled to Ecuador where they helped rebuild a medical clinic in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest.

The group’s focus on helping others is already well underway. They have already raised funds to help finance the trip for students who were not financially able to go. Each student in the group is involved in fundraising, regardless of his or her own financial situation.