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Acting Director of Service-Learning
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
local: (727) 864-7512
Profiles in Service
Henry Guston Kemp Broege
Graduation Year: 2014
Minor: Political Science
What types of service/volunteer activities are/were you involved with at Eckerd?
I've done all sorts of social and environmental services while at Eckerd. I've done a coastal cleanup in which I pulled out a coke crate, a diver's knife and countless plastics bottles. I repainted the bird houses at Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. I helped at a couple PARC fund raising events. I volunteered at an Islamic fair on 9/11 working at the ticket booth. While I was in Tanzania, I taught a young teacher the ins and outs of using a computer and utilizing the internet. While I was in Cambodia and Thailand I painted three schools and helped students with their reading exercises. Also, while in Cambodia, I gave blood for the first time, to a free children's hospital. I did landscaping maintenance at a horse ranch. I helped bag food at a food pantry for migrant workers. In Guyana, I worked at a farm distributing wheat to farmers, building fences, herding sheep, and doing maintenance at a zoo. In Ecuador, I harvested yuca and corn, carried long wood planks and tin roofing through kilometers of muddy, slippery jungle, and clearing brush. I also volunteer daily for my club, Coalition for Community Justice, offering GED tutoring to UNICO, and free luncheons for UNICO on a monthly basis.
In what ways did your service experience change you or cause a transformation in your thinking, values or degree/career choice?
It definitely gave me new perspectives on what kind of work people around the world are doing for their communities. I've always liked the idea of working for and helping out people without being concerned with whether or not you're getting paid. There are all sorts of tasks that need to be completed, supplies, resources, and food that is needed, while there's a bunch of people of all ages, with too much money and nothing to do. Let's put the two together and start tackling the world's biggest problems.
Please describe your most significant or important service experience while at Eckerd.
When I was in Tanzania my freshman year, me and the dozen other students in our group sat down with a dozen teachers in a computer lab and step by step taught them how to use computers, the internet, email, facebook, and also how to use all the microsoft office programs. The teacher I was working with wasn't much older than me, maybe a year or two, and he didn't even know how to turn on a computer, but after three days, he was making his own power points. In the end, after each teacher gave his own power point presentation, my teacher's was declared the best. I think it goes to show that if you can keep on encouraging people, be observant when it's clear they're struggling with something, and maintain an infinite amount of patience, you can teach anyone anything you know.
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 think going to the School of Americas protest in Georgia my freshman year was what really shifted my social and political views to the far left. I learned, and later saw, what our country is doing to the civilians and the communities of the developing would, and the policies they are enforcing to pursue national interest, and it gave me a devastating realization what our government's goals are and how they operate. I started going to protests, became a leftist, and took up leadership of the Coalition of Community Justice.
What advice would you give to other current or entering Eckerd students about participating in service?
Do it cause you can. Do it cause you should. Chances are you're pretty well off, so it's about time you do something for those that aren't. Most important, do something for a cause you care about and have passion for, because this is where your energy is most effective.