Tornado recovery work in Joplin, Habitat for Humanity near Pensacola: Maryville students go on alternative spring break


ST. LOUIS — Nearly 30 Maryville University students are taking part in alternative spring break activities this week, where they’ll engage in service projects to make a difference.

A group of 14 students will travel to Joplin, Mo., to assist with tornado recovery work. They will partner with a church and help how they are most needed, whether taking part in clean up, a rebuilding effort or another service project. A tornado in Joplin last May resulted in the deaths of 161 people and a massive rebuilding effort that is still on-going. “Some of these students have a personal connection to Joplin,” notes Maryville’s Director of Campus Ministry Stephen Di Salvo, who organized the service trip. “Service work like this helps to give them a sense of empathy; they realize how fortunate they are, but it also gives them a chance to make a difference.”

Another 14 will travel to the Pensacola, Fla., area, where they’ll continue a 15-year Maryville University tradition of building a Habitat for Humanity home. Students arrive to see a slab of cement, but by the end of their work, they’ve framed the house and shingled its roof. Associate Dean of Students Kathy Quinn says, “When we have reflection at the end of the week, they talk about stepping out of their comfort zone, a sense of accomplishment and a sense that they learned they could do more than they thought they could.”

About Maryville University
Maryville University, founded in 1872, moved to the national universities category of U.S. News & World Report this year.  It is one of three institutions in the greater St. Louis area ranked in the division. In October, Maryville was named one of the Top 100 Private Universities in the U.S. for Best Value by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.