This week has been indescribable and has given me more insight on why I continue to come back down to New Orleans. I have seen myself grow as an individual and have come to the realization about what my purpose in life is supposed to be: I am meant to help those who need some help assessing their strengths and other assets, because we all have them, it just takes some people longer than others to come in touch with them. Without New Orleans, I feel that I would still be searching for a purpose and questioning faith all the time. I am so thankful for this week and the project that I was able to do down here. I am excited to see the final outcome and end my senior year (2011) will two more trips back down to New Orleans, because this is where I am supposed to be.
– Megan Douglass ’11
Because I knew that this was going to be my last trip with Wheelock, I originally viewed it as a way to give myself closure to a trip and experience that has been a large part of my growth at Wheelock. It wasn’t until I came down here that I truly understood how much of an impact this trip has had on me and can have on students and faculty members. My role on my fifth trip down to New Orleans with Wheelock has given me the ability to step back and observe my fellow students as they question, discuss, debate, and reflect upon their journey not just on their trip but at Wheelock as well.
Thursday night students came together and shared their awakening, their enlightenment, and their growth that they have made while on this trip. I feel honored to have been a part of that growth and to help cultivate it. The New Orleans Service Learning trip has great potential to inspire the students who go on it to become the caring, compassionate, enlightened, questioning, insightful, and empowered students that Wheelock strives to create.
This trip is not simply a week-long event in a student’s college experience. The trips impact on students will carry on throughout their entire lives. This trip will influence their future decisions, in their future thoughts, and in their future impact on others. This experience helps students not only understand why Wheelock’s mission is about improving the lives of children and families but inspire themselves and others to fulfill it. The remarks and reflections made by the students on this trip have inspired me to create a positive change. Talk to one of them and they will inspire you too. I know this for certain for I have heard them speak.
-Peter Bartmon ‘10
This past week has truly been an emotional rollercoaster for me. Being a part of the documentation group, I have been able to observe the students, the leaders, and the faculty in a different way that I have ever been able to in the past. For me, this has been a nice way to conclude my service learning experiences with Wheelock, as I have been able to experience the trip in a totally different way. My experiences down in New Orleans have all been great, and from each trip I have gained something new, or learned something new about myself. All in all, this is one of the many reasons I continue to return to New Orleans. However, this trip really allowed me to take a step back and reflect on my learning throughout the years, and truly enabled me to see the benefits of this type of Service Learning project. Not only have I been a witness to great growth within each and every student on this trip, but I have been able to witness my own growth, both in my goals for the future, personally and professionally. My direction for the future is even clearer to me now, and in part, I have this experience to thank for that.
One day away from leaving New Orleans, many emotions are running through my head. I am unsure how I feel about it, but the one thing I know for sure is that I am truly excited to see where this project goes in years to come. The passion and drive that I was able to see within the students this week, is the passion and drive I have within myself, and I cannot wait to see what the future brings!
-Lauren Wilson ’10