Quick Contact

Ronald Porter
Director of Service-Learning

Eckerd College
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711


toll-free: 800-456-9009
local: 727-864-7512


Service Learning

Profiles in Service

Devon Elizabeth Williams

Lakeville, Massachusetts

Devon Elizabeth Williams
Graduation Year: 2013
Major: Political Science
Minors: International Relations and Journalism
What types of service/volunteer activities are/were you involved with at Eckerd?

Through the Office of Service Learning I was able to volunteer on multiple Saturday Service excursions. I also went on Spring Break Services Trips and worked with the volunteer efforts of the office to rally the student body around an environmental cause. I also served on the committee of the Eckerd College Relay for Life supporting the American Cancer Society.

In what ways did your service experience change you or cause a transformation in your thinking, values or degree/career choice?

All of the service opportunities I have participated in have had a perspective altering impact on me. Each time I volunteer it propels me to be the best person I can be. All service experiences are reminders of how important it is for the future of the world, in a time of full throttle globalization, for people to be tolerant, open minded, and helpful. We're all citizens of the world and members of the global community.

Please describe your most significant or important service experience while at Eckerd.

Volunteering in Cuba was what I imagine traveling back in time would feel like. This experience exposed me to people who are completely controlled by their government, a poverty stricken nation, and a beautiful spirit. Their amazing innovation is inspired by necessity and seeing the lack of freedom they have, and the role the United States plays in that, made this one of the most impactful experiences of my life.

Service and justice are two topics that can generate stimulating thought and discussion. Describe a time, event or interaction that really engaged your thoughts on service and justice.

I recently visited the International Criminal Court in the Hague with a group of Eckerd students for a portion of a spring into summer course. This opportunity generated a lot of discussion on the idea of justice - what it was, how to make it tangible. Most of us found our answer at the sentencing of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, when he was sentenced to 50 years in jail at the Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone. The work that the members of the special court did to make the justice real for the people affected by the tragic events by making local truth and reconciliation commissions as well as town hall meetings really emphasized that justice was not only about sentencing a principle player thousands of miles away from where the atrocities took place, but making it relevant for the people.

What advice would you give to other current or entering Eckerd students about participating in service?

Get started early! I didn't even realize the beauty of our Office of Service Learning until I was a junior. This office offers tremendous opportunities for you to better the world (and yourself). Volunteering and participating in service in any capacity is always a "win, win".

Calls for Participation

Academy Prep

Volunteer with Academy Prep

Academy Prep is a unique private middle school program serving 5th through 8th grade students in a low-income area. Students must qualify for need-based scholarships to attend and must have a desire to succeed in a rigorous academic environment. Academy Prep works with students to prepare them for higher education, maintaining relationships with graduates through high school, college, and into their adult lives.

YMCA Reads

Volunteer Mentors Needed

YMCA Reads! is an after-school reading assistance and mentoring program providing opportunities for at-risk and low-income children in kindergarten through third grade to develop the reading skills they need to succeed in school.

Notes from the Field

Servant Leaders blog
Service-Learning Interns blog
The service-learning student interns are increasing service involvement at Eckerd, becoming successful service leaders and helping students create a community around the values and challenges of servant-leadership.

Service Learning Profiles

Alumni Profiles

Read individual profiles of how involvement with Eckerd Service-Learning changed the lives of current students and alumni.  Learn more.