Mercy Mondays: Center for Community Engagement holds annual Service Plunge
The Center for Community Engagement and Service held its annual Service Plunge on campus from Aug. 30 to Sep. 1. During this experiential learning moment, eight student facilitators led 29 incoming first years embarked on their journey through service.
Service Plunge provides students the opportunity to become accustomed to the truth of Newport, Rhode Island. While Newport is known for its Gilded Age mansions, yachts and sailboats, few people learn about other side of Newport, which is a story of a poverty crisis, homelessness and academic struggles for the young students that reside here. Because of Salve Regina’s Mercy mission, it is important to acknowledge both sides of Newport and to help encourage students to get involved in service opportunities to make a positive impact.
During the Service Plunge, the 37 students immersed themselves in the community and surrounding areas on Aquidneck Island with various organizations like Child and Family Services, Lucy’s Hearth, God’s Community Garden and Norman Bird Sanctuary. Each student completed roughly 11 hours of service for a total of 407 hours all together. For all of the hours Salve Regina’s students spent volunteering, these organizations can donate more time, money and resources back to their programs.
This year, the eight student facilitators awarded two of the most dedicated and enthusiastic first year students on the Service Plunge the annual Golden Plunger. The 2020 Golden Plunger recipients Michael Azar ’24 and Isabelle Cole ’24.
Cole shared that the experience was very beneficial and gave her a unique opportunity to connect with service partners in the Newport community. “Alongside incredible other young people with a shared passion, Service Plunge gave me the privilege to see the wealth gap in Newport that is otherwise shielded by mansions and prosperous shops,” she said. “I fell in love with Salve Regina during Service Plunge.”
Azar echoed Cole’s enthusiasm. “The Service Plunge was the perfect way to start my journey at Salve Regina University,” said Azar.
If anyone interested in service opportunities, contact the Center for Community Engagement and Service at community.services@Salve.edu or 401-341-2440.
This post is part of an ongoing series called Mercy Mondays that highlights Salve Regina’s dedication to its Mercy Mission. Search the tag Mercy Mission for more updates on the Mercy branches of Salve Regina.