Quick Contact

Ronald Porter
Acting 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

Emma Rafferty

Manchester, NH

Emma Rafferty
Graduation Year: 2012
Major: Psychology
Minor: Human Development
What types of service/volunteer activities are/were you involved with at Eckerd?

Activator (2009 and 2010), Best Buddies, 2010 East Africa Winter Term, spring break service trips (Ireland, Peru, led one to New Orleans), various day trip service projects (CASA, PARC and others).

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

Service opened my eyes to new career possibilities. I loved the experiences I had during my time at Eckerd. I had always considered myself to be a pretty open-minded person, but my experiences while at Eckerd, particularly while traveling, confirmed and even changed to some extent, my thinking as well as my values. Observing absolute poverty as well as other struggles strengthened my desire to help others.

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

While all of my experiences were significant and different from one another, my most significant was my trip to Ethiopia and Rwanda in 2010 on a Winter Term. I had traveled out of the states previously, but I had never seen such absolute poverty. Visiting the genocide memorials in Rwanda was also particularly humbling. It was here that I really truly understood how terrible people can be to each other. It made me proud to be contributing towards the construction of a new school for young women directly affected by the genocide.

If you are a graduate, what sort of service do you now do?

I am currently an AmeriCorps VISTA member in Manchester, NH. I work for the YWCA assisting victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. We also are attempting to start some programs for young woman and teenagers who are pregnant or parenting.

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.

After visiting the genocide memorials in Rwanda it was difficult for our group to discuss what we had seen and how it related to what we were doing. When we finally did talk, someone brought up how it was possible that these sort of atrocities could occur. The discussion that we had was one of the most thought-provoking I had ever been a part of. Service often involves working with people who have been through some hard times, and it was interesting discussing how and why these things happen.

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

Participate in as much as you can! Try it, even if it isn't something you would like to pursue as a career. It might just change your career path, as it did in my case. In the end, I can guarantee that you will have an amazing experience. You will feel good about yourself and most importantly, you will have made a difference.

Reflective Service-Learning Portfolio

Triton Track

Current Calls to Action

Edible Peace Patch Project
Looking for something fun to do this summer? The Muscular Dystrophy Association is looking for volunteers for their summer camps! The camps will take place in Brandon, FL, June 21-27, and in Apopka, FL, July 12-18.
Interested? Contact Paula Orandash for more info at (727) 577-1700.
AIDS Walk Tampa Bay 2014
What are you and your friends doing to change the course of HIV in the Tampa Bay Region? By walking, donating or volunteering this year, you will help to provide much needed resouces to the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP).
The 12th annual AIDS Walk Tampa Bay will be held at Vinoy Park in Downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday, September 6th. Registration starts at 8 a.m., and the walk starts at 10 a.m.

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.