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Ferris Students Spend ‘Alternative’ Spring Break in Juarez

BIG RAPIDS – Not all students head to Ft. Lauderdale or South Padre Island for Spring Break. From March 6 through 15, nearly 60 Ferris State University students traveled by passenger van from Big Rapids to Juarez, Mexico, to help build homes for poor families there.

The students are members of His House Christian Fellowship – an interdenominational registered student organization at Ferris. In Juarez, they worked with the organization Casas por Christo to identify and complete the projects. In just 2.5 days, the volunteers built four houses.

Ferris Nursing and Healthcare Administration junior, Hope Kwapiszewski, was one of the members that went to the border city of 1.5 million people and quickly expanded her skill-set.

“The group I was in split up tasks, so we could all try a little of everything,” Kwapiszewski said. “I hauled sand and rocks to lay the foundation and helped build and stucco walls.”

Kwapiszewski urges other students to experience the kind of outreach that His House offers. “It pretty much changed my life,” she said. “It was really inspiring. There’s a lot out there we don’t see every day, and it helps to be aware of that.”

In addition to such “alternative” spring break activities, Ferris students volunteer in excess of 20,000 hours of community service per year, helping approximately 80 different public and private non-profit agencies.