New Paltz’s Jamaica Service-Learning Program was initiated this summer, with seven students participating in a 3-week, faculty-led study abroad program that centered on historical, political, and cultural aspects of Jamaica. Through a combination of lectures, academic seminars, field trips, and a service-learning project, students explored and deepened their understanding of the Jamaican community.
Hosted by the University of the West Indies at Mona, students immersed themselves in service work at the Alpha Boys’ School, a residential institution that provides education, music training, sports activities and other programs. “Students were able to explore the sociological, economic, and political realities faced by Jamaica and its people,” said Professor La Tasha Brown (Black Studies). “In so doing, each student walked away with a better understanding of how participatory community-based approach leads to a better comprehensive understanding of global issues from a bottom-up model.”
One participating student, Maggie-Rose Melito ’14 (Journalism), created a Tumblr website to document the service-learning program at the Alpha Boys’ School. View her site here.