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Shared Identity and Common Concerns

9. Immerse students in settings where they cultivate friendships and learn from people who may be very different from themselves relative to socioeconomic, ethnic, racial and gender identities or faith traditions.

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Opportunities abound in External Programs for students to nurture meaningful relationships with people whose life circumstances are very different from their own. This Messiah student serving with Special Olympics had a chance to see how the world looks through the eyes of her "buddy" whose physical mobility is severely limited.
Each fall the Latino Partnership sponsors a weekend college plunge experience for local migrant Middle School children. Messiah students host these children in their dorm rooms, and participate with them in seminars and activities.
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Two Messiah students celebrate the presentation of certificates to the migrant Middle School children they hosted.
A student studying in Belize is shown with his Mayan host family that lives in a thatched roof home wwith sod floors. His mother rises at 4:30 each morning to grind corn and prepare fresh tortillas for the day.
During her semester in the Russian Studies Program, this student lived in an apartment with her Russian host family and shared evening meals with them.
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