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

North Carolina: Spring Break 11

North Carolina

View photos from North Carolina

Over spring break 14 enthusiastic workers led by Leonora Stefanile went on a service trip to Durham, NC. We stayed at a place in what is called the "rural buffer" of the city where four young men, including Eckerd ES alumnus Dylan Hammond, are working to transform an old tobacco homestead into a self-sustainable, off-the-grid home. They envision a homestead that will have no need for outside energy sources and an organic garden and orchard that will supply the home with food, allow them to sell produce and be a CSA site. When we arrived they had a compostable toilet, outhouse, rain-water collection system which supplies the whole house with water, a small garden, and big plans.

We helped them lay the foundation for a passive solar room and an outdoor kitchen, clear trees in the place of a future orchard (and planted blueberries!), renovate the kitchen, build a porch, and expand their garden by more than twice its original size. On Thursday we volunteered at NEEM (Natural Environmental Ecological Management), an urban organic garden organization in Durham doing various work to help them transform an abandoned florist shop/greenhouse/garden into a working CSA site.

The trip was refreshing, and being able to see so much progress in so little time was exciting. But what was most inspiring was working alongside like-minded people, both at the homestead and at NEEM, who see our future as one in dire need of sustainable practices and a new appreciation for farming and food. Everything is tied together by agriculture, yet our agriculture system is unsustainable. With education and the implication of practices and infrastructures like the ones we learned about during the trip we could very well save ourselves from unhealthy lives and worse. I'm thrilled to see what becomes of the little farm in the rolling meadows of North Carolina and the seeds we planted there... I'm thrilled to see what becomes of the knowledge and understanding it planted in us. -Deborah Hilbert

View photos from North Carolina

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.

Community Action Stops Abuse

Community Action Stops Abuse

It takes a whole community to stop domestic violence. CASA's vision is a community without domestic violence so that home is a safe place.

Edible Peach Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project is a not for profit organization whose mission is to eliminate poverty as a factor in educational success and diet-related health issues.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

The mission of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program is to build partnerships to restore and protect Tampa Bay through implementation of a scientifically sound, community-based management plan.