This month, college students from all over the country will pack up and head off to enjoy spring break.
We assume trips to Florida or Mexico would not be out of the question. These are college students, after all, and parties on warm, sun-drenched beaches are quite a draw, especially for students from northern climes.
We hope those students have a great time, play in moderation and return home safely.
But there is another group of students, 72 in all, who are taking a different approach to spring break. It is unlikely these young men and women from Waynesburg University will be binge drinking, passing joints or making “Girls Gone Wild” videos. Instead, they, along with faculty and staff members, are spending their spring break serving various organizations through four mission trips offered by the university.
There are partnerships with The Pittsburgh Project; Summit Adventure in Quito, Ecuador; Habitat for Humanity in Concord, N.C.; and Meeting God in Missions in Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic.
We understand Waynesburg University touts itself as a service-oriented institution, and we think that is commendable.
What we think is more laudable is that these students chose to put others ahead of themselves and commit, for example, to a week providing free home repairs through The Pittsburgh Project for those who may not be able to complete the tasks without assistance, or to examining environmental issues in Ecudaor.
No sunny beaches or margaritas for these kids.
So, why do they do it? Some may get credit if they are in the Bonner Scholarship program, but more than likely they do it because they have a strong sense of service and a selfless drive to help others.
Those at the university who put these mission trips together should be applauded.
The lessons these 72 students learn could never be taught in a classroom.