By Amy McKeever
While some students look at spring break as a time to relax, others see it as an opportunity to help others.
Stonehill College offers an alternative option for spring break with H.O.P.E. service trips, Stonehill’s service immersion program, standing for Honoring our Neighbor, Organizing for Justice, Practicing Peace and Encountering God.
“H.O.P.E. aims to open its participants’ eyes to the injustices around the world and across the street and hopes to motivate a passion for both change within themselves and in the world,” 2014-2015 H.O.P.E. Intern and senior Ravi Dhameha said in an email.
About 150 students will be participating in the H.O.P.E. mission trips this spring break, traveling to 11 different destinations around the world.
The destinations range from Portland, Oregon and Wheeling, West Virginia, to La Romana, Dominican Republic and Canto Grande, Peru.
Senior Julianne Earle spent her winter break last year on a service trip in India.
“I adore the idea of the trips. I absolutely fell in love with India and I really got to see a part of the country,” Earle said.
She will be leading the H.O.P.E. trip to Syracuse, New York this spring.
“I loved working with the group and I wanted to take the experience and give it to someone else.”
The H.O.P.E. program is open to all students, alumni and faculty. The program has been at Stonehill for the past fifteen years or so, Dhameha said.
“I think we can all get engrossed in the stresses of our own lives, but the H.O.P.E. program is a way of putting this aside and working with others towards a better world,” sophomore Taylor Vigneault said.