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Creighton students spend spring break at White Violet Center

From left, Matt Larson, Nashib Farooki, David Illyes (White Violet Center farm projects coordinator) holding Willy the lamb, Zach Banaszak, Anela Napoleon, and Jenna Vrable.

What do people who live in Hawaii do on their college spring break? I know two who came to Indiana!

For the past seven days, five students from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, immersed themselves in learning more about sustainable living during a one-week service trip to White Violet Center for Eco-Justice at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

It was their college spring break. Instead of going home to spend time with family and friends or make a run for a sandy beach, they chose to learn more about a small organic farm owned by the Sisters of Providence.

Anela Napoleon can’t resist an alpaca hug while caring for the herd during her spring break from Creighton University.

Nashib Farooki, of Hawaii, is a junior psychology major. Zach Bananszak, of Arizona, is a freshman majoring in psychology and exercise science. Matt Larson, of Minnesota, is a freshman studying marketing. Anela Napoleon, of Hawaii, is a junior environmental science major. Jenna Vrable, of Nebraska, is a junior majoring in English and social work.

This isn’t Jenna’s first service trip. In fact, it’s her fifth. She sees value in learning about issues facing people around the world. She chose to learn more about sustainability this trip.

“There’s no way you can walk away not understanding this lifestyle better,” she said Friday afternoon.

Anela believes the best way to understand how someone else lives or feels is by getting as close to them as possible — try to live in their shoes.

“These trips are beneficial because we can live in solidarity,” she said.

Dirty jobs at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice kept these Creighton University students learning and having fun during spring break 2018.

They worked in the 7-acre garden, preparing the land for spring planting, and in the greenhouse. They experienced caring for farm animals — alpacas, chickens, cats, and a lamb.

“That’ll be one of the saddest parts, leaving all the animals behind,” Zach said.

The staff and interns at White Violet Center have certainly appreciated having this efficient and hard-working group who are on the road today headed back to school.

Good luck, Matt, Nashib, Anela, Jenna, and Zach. We know you’re off to do more great things!

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Cheryl Casselman

Cheryl Casselman worked as a marketing manager for the Sisters of Providence for twenty years. She grew up in Camby, Indiana and now lives in Sullivan County, Indiana. She has a bachelor's degree in communications from Indiana State University and master's degree in Leadership Development from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

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