Katrina Recovery Team completes service-learning trip

Anushka Mehrotra, Contributing Writer

The Katrina Recovery Team, comprised of University students, completed a weeklong service-learning project in January when they traveled to New Orleans. The group worked with St. Bernard Project, an organization that works with homeowners who can’t afford to rebuild their homes. They also completed work with Greenlight New Orleans, and Grow Dat Youth Farm, local nonprofit organizations.

Fourteen students and three faculty and staff members participated the in most recent trip where they stayed at the Camp Hope volunteer center. Provost Mick Smyer, a New Orleans native, also met the group there.

“This trip is part of a great tradition of students traveling to New Orleans to assist with Katrina recovery efforts,”  Stacey Sommerfield, Assistant Director of Service-Learning, said.

For several years, University students have traveled to New Orleans to help survivors rebuild their homes and communities. Early work consisted of clearing debris from flooded homes, but more recently students have been helping nonprofit groups refurbish damaged houses and build new homes. The team has been traveling to New Orleans since 2005.

The trip aims not only to help survivors but also to educate the students involved. Students and staff learned about how the communities and government reacted to the hurricane, as well as the natural and human factors that caused the hurricane in the first place.

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