Stone Scholars Spend Fall Break in Service


While many students returned home to their families, enjoyed fun vacations or just relaxed over fall break, the Stone Scholars were hard at work on Cumberland Island.

This past week on fall break, the Stone scholars went to an all-expenses-paid, week-long service trip to Cumberland Island, Georgia. The scholars worked for the protection of beaches and maritime forests, and performed trail maintenance and other services for the park management. 

The Jane and David Stone First-Year Civic Leadership Program selects ten students with extraordinary community service experience and helps them to engage in extensive philanthropy, social justice and civic engagement while staying on campus. 

Just like the Bonner Scholar Program, students selected in the Stone Program are called “scholars,” and work closely with the Hartman Center to complete their service hours and required program events. 

Rachel Conyer handled important leadership tasks during the most recent service trip. 

“By doing service during my fall break, I learned a lot about myself and about the service that our group did. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience that fostered friendship, growth and humility,” Conyer said.

First-year Vonia Monroe implemented strength and management in all the tasks she performed. 

“Although the tasks were fairly simple, such as trimming vines and clearing trails, the lessons we learned were extensive,” Monroe said “The service trip provided a common ground for each of us to learn how to work with people of different backgrounds, cultures and experiences,” Monroe said. 

First-year Kourtnei O’Romig emphasized that kindness and intelligence are key aspects of service.

“This trip helped me connect with some new and pretty cool people that I’m now able to call my friends. The trip was an overall great experience to do some amazing volunteer work to help out park rangers working on the island,” Romig said.

The Stone Scholars had to camp overnight and do service in extremely humid, hot and rainy weather. First-year Anastasia-Maria Trobridge proved that humor and bravery can come in handy during difficult situations like this.

“We learned very quickly that all you need is sunscreen, bugspray, good attitude and a hair tie for service,” Trobridge said.

Although, this leadership program is limited to incoming freshmen, there are other ways DePauw students can get involved with community service. 

Just like this fall service trip, there are many other off-campus civic engagement courses and trips that anyone can register for. These courses are available on Horizon and eServices, and can be registered through the Hartman or the Hubbard Center. 

Chelsea Naylor, coordinator of community based learning and supervisor of the Bonner and the Stone programs, explained that all students need to do is reach out to get involved in service.

“The Hartman Center works to connect all our students to service opportunities, and the easiest way to get started is to drop in the center or email me,” Naylor said. “We have twenty students led service programs and connections throughout the community. Just come visit the office on the second floor of the Union Building and we will find a place to fit your interests and your passions,” Naylor said.