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

Arizona: Spring Break 08


View photos from Arizona

This spring-break, ten students participated in a week long project to renovate homes of the most traditional Native Americans left in the US. They traveled to the Black Mesa Reservation, located in the State of Arizona and worked with the Forgotten People's Community Development Corporation (CDC) to help the Dine (Navajo) people.

Students and the Service-Learning Intern, Kathryn MacDonald, renovated two homes, the fist of 84 year-old matriarch Rena Babbitt Lane, and the second of her son and care-taker, Jerry Lane. Since 1966, with the implementation of the Bennett Freeze Act, residents of the Hopi Partition Land, like Mrs. Lane, have not been allowed to renovate existing homes or build any new structures. Common repairs such as building an outhouse or insulating the walls and ceiling went undone for more than 40 years.

Shockingly, this was the first time residents of Black Mesa have ever received help from the Navajo Nation for renovation projects. However, when applicants are approved for weathering renovation supplies they are expected to provide or pay for crews to install the supplies. Residents like Mrs. Lane have no means to provide a crew so the work is often left undone. This is where Eckerd students came in.

Eckerd College students worked from sun-up to sun-down for six days to complete the weathering project. Mrs. Lane's residence was completely gutted, and renovated inside and out. She received new insulation, newly sheet-rocked ceiling and walls, a newly tiled floor, and a fresh coat of paint on everything. The students painted the outside of her house a beautiful sage green and completely re did her roof. They insulated Mrs. Lane's son, Jerry's, house for the first time and sheet-rocked his walls as well.

For their free day, the students traveled to the Grand Canyon and spent the day climbing as far down as possible. They camped out for a very chilly night and returned bright and early to work the following day.

The spring break service trip was very hard work and long hours, but it was worth it when Mrs. Lane walked in and smiled in appreciation. She approached each and every student to thank him or her and offer her blessing in her native tongue.

View photos from Arizona

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.