Picking ripe coffee beans, planting fields of corn and engaging in various reforestation projects around the farm were the ways that a led2serve team served locally at Arenal Vida Campesina in La Fortuna, Alajuela, Costa Rica. These students worked together in three groups to learn and cultivate new skills and enjoy fellowship with one another. The purpose of this serving day was to provide these students with a hands-on learning experience of a typical day for employees on the farm. This service learning project gave the students the opportunity to engage in community and environmental sustainability education during their month-long stay in Costa Rica.
With led2serve’s mission to build relationships within the communities they serve, Arenal Vida Campesina has been a partner location for led2serve over the past five years. Arenal Vida Campesina is a self-sustained, organic and cultural education center that strives to share the true life of a rural Costa Rican family and preserve the customs and traditions of Costa Rica.
The team was educated about the importance of producing crops in sustainable form and how to integrate with the local community to provide what is necessary. With an afternoon full of service, students gained firsthand knowledge on how a family-owned farm strives to survive and develop for future years. “I really enjoyed serving and interacting with members of the local community during our service project,” Mary Beth McWhirt said. “It was great to learn firsthand how an organic farm operates and runs on a daily basis in Costa Rica.”
Are you looking to be a better person inside and out? Founder and Executive Director, Vanessa Puleo, states it best. "Quite simply, it all comes down to who you hang with. If you want to play great tennis, play with someone who's better than you. If you want to be an amazing artist, take lessons from the best. And if you want to be a person of character and integrity, and be a better person yourself....hang out with people who have those characteristics. Watch what they do, read what they do, and serve like they do. Chances are they are serving others along their walk of life."
While led2serve has offered meaningful Journeys for the past six years, this year is a milestone. Puleo, along with seven other Journey Leaders, are intentionally pour themselves into the led2serve mission to equip, inspire and mobilize the leaders of tomorrow. From Service Learning Journeys on St. Simon Island, to Service Mission teams in Cherokee, NC ~ Journey Leaders are digging deep into instilling leadership skills, team building activities and devotional time for those with a faith foundation. All this is being accomplished during their customized Service Journey.
“It’s important for students to understand that they can play, adventure, laugh and serve all in the same day. Serving others does not mean volunteering for hours doing something that has no meaning. Serving others means doing something of meaning and value for another person - which molds a persons character in the process. It's our responsibility as adults to teach the leaders of tomorrow that a well balanced life means investing in others as you also invest in yourself."
This summer over 85 young adults have registered for Journeys that focus on life skills and team work. They will engage in projects for widow, elderly and disabled individuals, along with commmunity based projects in the USA. During their adventures they will raft down the river, zipline through the Blue Ridge Mountains and exploring the Cumberland Reserve!
led2serve mobilizes family, student, youth and all teams with a heart to serve others. Visit the calendar of UPCOMING JOURNEYS to find on that fits your serving heart this year. Or, customize your own Journey for a group of friends!
Linking academic outcomes with intentional service provides one of the richest forms of learning for today's students. Kansas Wesleyan University introduced The Center for Global Service Learning in partnership with led2serveU in the fall of 2014. This on-campus office is excited to provide a guaranteed Service Learning experience to all qualified students wo have attended KWU for at least 4 semesters. The "Wesleyan Journey" will be a course that every student will want to take.
The Center for Global Service Learning will collaborate with faculty to customize dynamic courses that support established community partners around the world. Innovative internship opportunities, vibrant learning experiences domestic and abroad, and meaningful, life-changing service projects are the hallmark of The Center for Global Service Learning.
The Center has a robust resource area both in-house and online. These resources are for students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of KWU. Also, transient faculty and transient students may participate in the near future! Ongoing workshops are designed to address any potential questions faculty and students may have along with preparing them for their Journey.
Service Learning goes far beyond the classroom. For some, it goes far across the globe. As young adults dive into the great big world of promise, led2serve invites them to serve and learn together. Combining different areas of study, Dr. Nancy H. Cummings creates meaningful and rich curriculum experiences for students from various disciplines. This year, she returned to Germany for 3 weeks of culture, learning and service with our community partners. Nancy happens to be the co-founder of led2serve. This makes her a special fit for students who want to learn while they travel. She uses her knowledge and expertise in other countries in a positive way that supports and mentors all involved. This year, projects were continued with two after-school programs. These programs support children of all faiths and all backgrounds. Consider how you will engage your students, your family or friends on a Journey. Next year, Nancy will create a 30-day Service Journey into Germany that allows you to immerse in a different culture at the same time you are learning and serving others. Enjoy traveling... with an educational purpose!