Learning and Serving Over Spring Break
Gordon’s first-year Fellows programs offer select students the opportunity to immerse in a themed cohort for one year. The Nathan R. Wood Fellows for Ministry and Missions are encouraged to explore their calling to ministry and missions. The Forrester Venture Fellows program is designed for imaginative, ambitious entrepreneurs-in-the-making. The Richard F. Gross Fellows for Servant Leadership program focuses on social justice and community transformation. Each Fellows program culminates in a spring break trip that allows students to put into practice what they’ve been learning and discussing throughout the year. Members of each Fellows cohort share reflections from their recent trips on The Bell.
Nathan R. Wood Fellows | Tarija, Bolivia
By Jena Heneghan ’19 (art major)
After four different flights, we landed in Tarija full of excitement and anticipation for the coming week’s adventure as we partnered with a local church. As a current member of the Nathan R. Wood Fellows, I found it most rewarding to get to know each person in the group a lot better while getting the work done. During the week we attended two worship services. As we experienced two separate languages joining together to praise our one and only Father, I truly felt the presence of God. It was clear to see the love of Christ radiating from the locals. Some of the challenges we faced as a group included translating from Spanish to English and growing accustomed to the new culture surrounding us. Despite those challenges, we were able to finish our work, and our relationships strengthened not only with each other but with God as well.
Forrester Venture Fellows | Silicon Valley, CA
By Robert Mech ’19 (deciding major)
I benefited immensely from the broad range of speakers and companies we visited. We toured companies specializing in hardware and software of many types, artificial intelligence and social media, as well as social enterprises that combat human trafficking and help at-risk youth. The companies ranged from thousands of employees and multi-billion-dollar profits to start-ups deciding for the first time whether or not to franchise their model. We spoke with people in varying roles—such as founders and CEOs, sales managers, and software developers—about aspects of their organizations. Not only was the diversity of ventures critical to the success of the program’s mission, but it helped us to realize all the more the common character traits and tools that lead to career success in general. The contacts we’ve gained access to are of the highest caliber, and will be valuable resources as we continue through our college careers and beyond.
Richard F. Gross Fellows | Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD
By Taylor Ann Bradford ’19 (English language and literature)
Before we traveled, our Fellows group spent a semester and a half reading and discussing social justice and urban ministries. However, nothing could prepare us for the organizations that we would encounter and the impact that they had on us and are having in the world. We toured D.C. and met with staff at organizations (such as the Center for Public Justice, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Little Lights, and Bread for the World) that are ministries in the political world—fighting social injustices, forming policies, and positively affecting their communities. The remainder of our trip was spent in Baltimore, specifically Pig Town. There we partnered with Pig Town Food for Thought to help rebuild a hoop-house for gardening. Neighbors, church members, urban gardeners, and helpful hands (young and old) came to help with this project. The week was an amazing opportunity to see what organizations are out there, how they are making a difference and how we might get involved.