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Spring Break Means Serving Others

Posted on March 4, 2016 in: Academics
The group in Knoxville, Tennessee

In Knoxville, Tennessee, this group put a new roof on a house along with other volunteer efforts. (Gonzaga University photo)

Mission: Possible Helps 10 Communities Nationwide

SPOKANE, Wash. – In a rite of spring at Gonzaga University, 105 students and a dozen staff and faculty advisers are spending their entire spring break serving others at 10 sites nationwide through Gonzaga’s annual Mission: Possible program.

A student enjoys gardening work in Tacoma, Washington. (Gonzaga University photo).

A student enjoys gardening work in Tacoma, Washington. (Gonzaga University photo).

At a time when many college students will be relaxing, these Gonzaga students traveled to the following cities to volunteer March 7-11 in a variety of projects important to the communities they serve. Mission: Possible was started in the late 1990s and is sponsored by Gonzaga’s Center for Community Action and Service-Learning (CCASL).

2016 Sites

Boise, Idaho: Led by student Katie Polacheck and advised by Kyle Myers, this group volunteered with Full Circle Exchange, accompanying women participating in their holistic healing and job training program.

Denver, Colorado: Led by student Joel Hanson and advised by Bekah Bambas, students worked at the African Community Center that supports refugee resettlement and spent time working with students at Escuela de Guadalupe, a unique Catholic elementary school that provides dual-language education.

In Tacoma, Washington, these students volunteered at the Urban Grace Church. (Gonzaga University photo)

In Tacoma, Washington, these students worked at the Urban Grace Church Community Breakfast along with other volunteer efforts. (Gonzaga University photo)

Knoxville, Tennessee: Led by student Matt del Rosario and advised by Kelly Alvarado and Cortney Brewer, this group worked with Operation Backyard on a variety of initiatives from painting houses to yardwork, and volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club.

Neah Bay, Washington: Led by student Morgan Green and advised by Emily Luse and Kathy Nitta, this group worked in elementary schools and served the residents of the Makah Tribe on the Makah Reservation.

New York City: Led by student Angela Balistreri and advised by Nico Bernabe, this group worked with Hour Children, which helps incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children successfully rejoin the community, reunite with their families, and build healthy, independent and secure lives.

Phoenix, Arizona: Led by student Megan O’Malley and advised by Heidi Nordstrom, students worked with Catholic Charities and House of Refuge focusing on serving the homeless.

Roofing in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Gonzaga University photo)

Roofing in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Gonzaga University photo)

Portland, Oregon: Led by student Moira Andrews and advised by Katie Stefano, students worked with St. Andre’s Catholic Church and the Blanchet House of Hospitality to help address basic needs of the homeless.

San Francisco, California: Led by student Ty Smith and advised by Jim Simon, this group focused on sustainability and environmental justice issues by working with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Slide Ranch, and Recology.

St. Louis, Missouri: Led by student Cole Fiscus and advised by Darcy Phillips, this group volunteered with The Bridge and North Grand Neighborhood Services to help serve the homeless.

Tacoma, Washington: Led by student leader Taylor Ridenour and advised by Hannah Klaassen, students worked with the Tacoma Catholic Worker to help the homeless, and volunteered at the L’Arche Farm to assist adults with developmental disabilities.

For more information, contact Darcy Phillips, service immersion coordinator for CCASL, at (509) 313-5543.

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