By Katy Barenholtz
Denison may have been on winter break last month, but the students’ involvement certainly didn’t slow down.
Denison offers a variety of different winter break programs over the holidays for the students to get leadership experience or enhance their entrepreneurial skills to get a head start before the spring semester. The programs offered to the students include BreakAway, Habitat for Humanity, Entrepreneurial Endeavors and LeaderShape.
BreakAway is a national organization where Denison is lucky enough to be able to offer the programs to students. It is a weeklong service trip where students spend time beforehand with their designated teams and team leaders learning about the specifics in preparation for directly working in the communities.
This past winter break, a group of students went to east St. Louis for the week. Participant Ellen Mullan-Jayes ‘16 reflects on her week with BreakAway, “It was an incredibly eye opening experience. We worked with different groups in the community and really got an understanding of the issues they faced regarding education and poverty. It was a very rewarding trip!”
The trips offer topics in many different areas so there is something for everyone in this program. Topics in recent years have included education, economics and civil rights in the 21st century.
Habitat for Humanity is another beneficial winter break program offered to Denison students. If you are interested in a more physical, hands-on program, Habitat for Humanity is the program for you. This is also a national organization that places groups of students in different areas around the country to build houses for communities in need of shelter. This is a great way to see the direct results of your work, not to mention it is also a way to bond with other students with similar interests.
Entrepreneurial Endeavors is an opportunity that is more along the corporate lines. It involves those interested in learning how to create something new and support the business aspects of it. Students participate in workshops with successful Denison alumni as well as field trips to successful businesses. This program helps students get internships to further their education and comfort level in this field.
Finally, LeaderShape is a very popular and successful winter break program. It is also a weeklong program where all the students live together. They participate in various leadership discussions and activities throughout the day in small groups with group leaders.
Denison students have great experiences with these leadership programs. Frances Hinkamp ‘16 comments on her week at LeaderShape this past winter, “LeaderShape was a great way to transition back into Denison from being abroad. I learned a lot about myself as a leader with the help of the amazing people that I met on the program.”
Photo Courtesy of Breakaway