by Emily Witsberger
Students studying on the first floor of O’Neill Library this fall can get a glimpse of how service work abroad has impacted some members of the Boston College community. The Level One Gallery is currently displaying a moving exhibit titled Remembering Their Stories: Exploring the Influential Relationships Made through International Service Work. The exhibit, which opened on September 16, is sponsored by the recent Mustard Seed Dominican Republic service trip through Boston College Campus Ministry and The Boston College Libraries. Remembering Their Stories seeks to draw attention to the most memorable parts of service work abroad experienced by volunteers: the people one meets and the relationships one forms. As stated by the collaborators behind the exhibit, its primary aim is to acknowledge all of those people who have had profound effects on Boston College students throughout their time doing service work abroad, both in the Dominican Republic and in other areas across the world. Whether it be a community member, a local person, a supervisor, or even other volunteers, people are integral factors to understanding a country and culture.
Each photo on display in the exhibit is accompanied by a few sentences written by the BC student who took the photo or was present at the time it was taken. From a girl competing with her mother to sell jewelry, to a group of young boys just having fun with toy cars in the street, the short story behind each photo adds a sense of humanity to the people of the Dominican Republic who touched each student’s life. The relationships that were made through the service work have certainly continued to influence the student volunteers long after their return to the Heights. In fact, the relationships forged on such service trips make longer-lasting impressions than just about anything else. In any case, these photos serve as a testament to how anyone can touch another person’s life in small but incredible ways.
Remembering Their Stories will be on exhibit in the Level One Gallery until October 30, 2013. For those interested in getting involved in service work abroad, stopping by the exhibit might be a great first step.
For more information about service opportunities available to students, feel free to explore the website bc.edu/offices/service or stop by the Volunteer and Service Learning Center in McElroy 114, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. It’s never too late to get involved in a life changing experience!