Making a Difference During Spring Break

College students will build two houses in Jamaica

HUNTINGTON, IN -- Twenty-three Huntington College students and staff will be traveling to Jamaica during spring break this year, March 15-24, to work with Christian Service International (CSI). The trip is being planned with the help of the College’s Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service.

The students will be building two houses during their stay in Jamaica, both for single mothers. One of the homes will be built for a mother of three children, and the other for a mother of six. The houses will be simple, two room dwellings.

"The purpose of the project is to do something different with spring break," stated Dr. Norris Friesen, vice-president for student development. "These students have decided to make a difference by investing themselves in a worthwhile project," Friesen continued. "It is an opportunity to put their feet to their faith and share their talents and resources with others."

Participants are among nearly 60 Huntington College students who have served spring break volunteer efforts in Jamaica during the last three years.

The students will have to raise more than $27,000 for their own transportation expenses and for construction costs for the two houses they will build. Donations for the project can be sent to: The Jamaica Service Project, c/o Student Development Office, Huntington College, Huntington, Indiana, 46750.

Students now planning to participate in the Jamaica service mission include:

  • Jennifer Baker, a senior sociology major from Berrien Springs, Michigan
  • Anne Barranco, a junior elementary education major from Solon, Ohio
  • Daniel Braun, a sophomore from Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Nichole Caughell, a sophomore elementary education major from Roann, Indiana
  • Keith Graham, a freshman physical education major from Chester, Vermont
  • Stacy Henderson, a freshman elementary major from Marion, Indiana
  • Troy Jester, a junior educational ministries major from Clarklake, Michigan
  • Ginger Jordan, a junior elementary education major from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
  • Jeremy Kratz, a senior business management major from Angola, Indiana
  • Matthew Lister, a junior educational ministries major from Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Bridget Lewellen, a freshman psychology major from Logansport, Indiana
  • Lisa Madsen, a junior elementary education major from Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Carrie Mathews, a junior elementary education major from Scott, Ohio
  • David O’ Roark, a sophomore communication major from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
  • John Pollard, a sophomore educational ministries major from Montpelier, Vermont
  • Benjamin Powers, a junior educational ministries major from Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Jennifer Sawmiller, a junior elementary education major from Spencerville, Ohio
  • Jonathan Taylor, a senior elementary education major from Markle, Indiana
  • Jonetta Walker, a sophomore music performance major from Indianapolis, Indiana
  • * Renee Webb, a senior psychology major from Ortonville, Michigan

The trip to Jamaica is just one of many projects organized by Huntington College’s Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service. Last year, the Center mobilized student volunteers for more than 7,000 hours of community service, including the construction of a home for the Huntington chapter of Habitat for Humanity. This year, Joe Mertz Center leaders hope to organize 10,000 hours of student volunteer service. The Center’s many volunteer projects are one way students can serve Christ and His creation, a central purpose of Huntington College.

Huntington College was founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. For nearly 100 years, Huntington College has offered high-quality academic programs to equip men and women to impact our world for Christ. The four-year liberal arts college offers graduate and undergraduate programs in nearly 50 fields of study. Located on a contemporary, wooded campus in Huntington, Indiana, the College is among the fastest growing members of the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities.


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Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director