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Sources: DeAnna Coughlin, deannac@k-state.edu;
and Jamie Schendt, uncjamie@k-state.edu
Note to editor: Ariel Anib is a graduate of Olathe East High School; Rylee Bacon is a graduate of Olathe Northwest High School; Melissa Newman is a graduate of Olathe South High School; and Derrik Wiggins is a graduate of Olathe North High School.
News release prepared by: Rosie Hoefling, 785-532-2535, media@k-state.edu

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

K-STATE INTERNATIONAL SERVICE TEAMS TO TAKE ON SUMMER PROJECTS IN KENYA, BRAZIL AND MEXICO

MANHATTAN — As members of Kansas State University's International Service Teams, K-State students will be participating in service projects in Kenya, Brazil and Mexico this summer. The three teams will leave at the end of May and will serve a minimum of eight weeks in their host country.

Currently in its 21st year, the International Service Teams program is coordinated through K-State's School of Leadership Studies and advised by Trisha Gott, instructor of leadership studies at K-State. The program helps communities worldwide by designing service plans based on the specific needs of the community, such as assisting with health, education and environmental issues.

According to Jamie Schendt, International Service Teams student co-coordinator, team members gain leadership experience and an appreciation for other cultures and perspectives through the service they provide to their international community.

"Participating on an International Service Team is a service-learning opportunity like none other at K-State. It allows students to immerse themselves in service and culture in the hopes of not only developing the capacity of others but capacity of self," Schendt said.

In preparation for the experience, students participated in a leadership studies course during the spring semester that provided them with background information in international volunteering, cross-cultural service and group interaction. Throughout the course, team members also got to know each other while familiarizing themselves with the language and culture of their specific host country.

This year's International Service Team locations and projects include:

* Team Umoja in Nyeri, Kenya, a community about two hours north of Nairobi. Team members will be working at the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre, where they will teach classes and facilitate after-school clubs for more than 150 children.

* Team Amizade in Jacunda, Brazil, will assist with the activities of the Project Rescue Amazon Youth mission, specifically in facilitating extracurricular activities with the children of the community.

* Team Armonia in Puebla, Mexico, will work in conjunction with a university in Mexico to provide service to the nearby rural community of La Preciosita. Their efforts will focus on developing ecotourism opportunities, starting a theater program with the local children and teaching community members the English language.

K-State students participating on a 2010 International Service Team include:

Maria Gomez, junior in elementary education, Garden City, Team Amizade in Jacunda, Brazil.

From Greater Kansas City: Skylar Moore, junior in English, Leawood, Team Amizade in Jacunda, Brazil; Ariel Anib, senior in sociology and Spanish-Hispanic studies, Team Armonia in Puebla, Mexico, Rylee Bacon, sophomore in agronomy, Team Umoja in Nyeri, Kenya, Melissa Newman, junior in Spanish-Hispanic studies, Team Amizade in Jacunda, Brazil, and Derrik Wiggins, junior in arts and sciences-open option, Team Umoja in Nyeri, Kenya, all from Olathe; and Mary Jackson, freshman in psychology, Team Armonia in Puebla, Mexico, and Nahshon Ruffin, sophomore in theater, Team Armonia in Puebla, Mexico, both from Overland Park.

Kailyn Willse, senior in social work, Hutchinson, Team Umoja in Nyeri, Kenya; Jonathan Colston, junior in chemical engineering, Junction City, Team Umoja in Nyeri, Kenya; Shawna Peters, junior in family studies and human services, LaCrosse, Team Armonia in Puebla, Mexico; and Allie Archer, senior in biological systems engineering, McPherson, Team Umoja in Nyeri, Kenya.