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Hampton University students visited Panama as part of an International Service Learning Program spring 2018.

“The Leadership Fellows truly embraced service learning from a cultural perspective,” said Dr. Jarris Louis Taylor, director of Hampton University’s William R. Harvey Leadership Institute.

Students participated in three main activities in Panama, including immersing in the culture of the Embera, who live in a village about an hour-long canoe ride away; helping prepare over 12,500 meals at a local food bank, and visiting the San Jose Malambo Orphanage, where students donated supplies and visited classrooms.

“I experienced joy and fulfillment just by interacting with people who had different backgrounds than me,” said Daizha Lankford, Hampton University rising junior and William R. Harvey Leadership Institute Fellow.

“Their appreciation for every donation, service, and conversation we had was the highlight of my life. I’m so grateful to the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute for giving me this amazing opportunity.”

Students were able to get an up-close tour of the Panama Canal.

“When touring the Panama Canal, I learned not just about the architectural design, but the history and how important it is to the citizens of Panama for its economy and relations to the global community,” said Kenneth Rioland, Hampton University student and WRHLI Fellow.

Last year, William R. Harvey Leadership Institute International Fellows traveled to Costa Rica for a ten-day service learning trip. Costa Rica provided students with a memorable travel experience, while also allowing them to serve in an area known for its rich ecosystems and remarkable landscapes.

“I feel so blessed that our Fellows are able to improve the world we live in, by experiencing other cultures and bringing back memories that will last a lifetime,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey.

The William R. Harvey program is named after Hampton University President Dr. Harvey’s father, who was a social activist, and a business and community leader. This is the second year of the scholarship.

The service learning program launched in 2016 when students traveled to the Dominican Republic for an eight-day international service learning and study abroad experience.

The 2019 International Service Learning trip is already being planned. For more information, please click here.

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