North Central College - Naperville, IL

Students build houses, serve communities during spring break

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Contact: Nancy Dunker, associate director of public relations, 630-637-5306

March 17, 2010--During North Central College's spring break, March 17 to 28, nearly 80 students and staff members are traveling across the country and around the world to serve others.

Four Habitat for Humanity trips are planned. One trip includes 19 student-athletes, representing eight varsity sports, and four staff members. They will travel to Starkville, Miss., to build a house for a family of 10 that was displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Another 10 volunteers will travel to New Rochelle, N.Y., 10 to Green County, Ga., and 10 more to Pensacola, Fla., to repair and build houses.

Nine students and one staff person are heading to Bogota, Colombia, where they'll work alongside a family that runs an outreach ministry through a local church in the capital city. North Central students will utilize their skills in web design and managing a newspaper to help the family and community, as well as present a performance for children in the area and complete small construction and rehab projects.

Two more student trips will head to Philadelphia and Chicago to help the Center for Student Missions in those cities. Students will live in the city, learn about the city and become part of the solutions of the city by offering their time and energy in supporting indigenous ministry sites, such as food centers and homeless shelters.

The final trip of six volunteers will work with L'Arche in Jacksonville, Fla. North Central volunteers will be assisting in an adult mentally disabled community.

All these trips, with the exception of the student-athletes serving with Habitat in Mississippi, are coordinated through North Central's Office of Ministry and Service, whose mission, in part, is to go beyond the borders of the campus to unite with the larger community and meet the needs of a diverse student population. While many college students choose to spend spring break pampering themselves at the beach, many at North Central are choosing to spend time helping people in need through service trips.

North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in Naperville, Ill., and just 28 minutes from Chicago's Loop, North Central enrolls more than 2,798 undergraduate and graduate students. It is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes.

Photo: North Central students building homes with Habitat for Humanity in a previous year.