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

J Hess '04

Religious Studies major

J Hess 

While a student at Eckerd College, the service learning program changed my life. Experiences while on the search and rescue team, as well as service trips through the service learning program, allowed me to learn about others and my role in the world. Service learning taught me leadership, confidence, communication skills, and the value of community service. In 2003, I was one of three students who participated in a twelve month service project that studied refugees and refugee workers in our local community, nationally, and abroad. The project included traveling to Thailand and teaching English in a refugee camp on the border of Burma. The project forced me to grow up and sparked an interest in international law. The lessons learned and memories from that trip continue to shape my life and career.

I am currently finishing my law degree at American University, where I am focusing on international law and earning a masters degree in international economic relations. During my first year of law school I wrote for the school's Human Rights Brief and volunteered with AU's Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. I also interned with the Rethinking Bretton Woods Project, a nonprofit organization that works on reforming international trade and development institutions so that such structures focus on and respond to human rights.

I am currently clerking for Claudio Grossman, the chairman of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UN CAT). I am one of six clerks that assist UN CAT in their investigations of torture allegations around the world. UN CAT is charged with the responsibility of monitoring countries and ensuring compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture. I am also working for the law firm of DLA Piper. The American Bar Association has recently ranked DLA Piper as the number one pro bono law firm for 2008. With DLA Piper, I have worked on a variety of pro bono projects, including a project focusing on prisoners of conscience in Latin America.

Reflective Service-Learning Portfolio

Triton Track

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.