Scholarship Recipient Undergoes a Life Altering Experience Through Urban Poverty Trip
“My spring break was a life-altering experience founded in volunteering, education and social justice,” said Amy Moore- Shipley, who received a Casey Feldman Foundation Scholarship to travel to Cincinnati on an urban poverty trip with a group of other students over spring break from college this year. The college students volunteered with the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, in a City which ranks 7th in the nation for the highest percentage of residents living in poverty, and where some 7,000 residents are homeless. One out of every three children lives in poverty. The itinerary for the trip was filled with advocate speakers, interactive activities and volunteer work with those in need.
Moore-Shipley and her fellow student volunteers worked with preschoolers in a community center, served hundreds of meals in drop-in kitchens and cleaned up yards for low-income housing programs. The students also cooked for a family on a food stamp budget, navigated the city for resources for the homeless and created a mock drop-in shelter.
Speakers were local advocates, homeless community members and non profit leaders in programs such as urban gardening and low wage workers’ rights.
Prior to the trip, Amy had planned on a career in Broadcast Journalism, although she was unsure about the direction in which her life’s work would take her. “Preparing for Cincinnati I thought I was most excited to photograph the experience and practice documenting events; however, what I learned and realized about my own educational and career path that week changed everything.”
Amy’s epiphany came about one day as she was working at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen where she had the opportunity to greet each individual with a smile as she handed them their tray, making sure that she took the time to speak with each person in line. When one man stated that the homeless should be able to get out of their predicament, Amy told the man that people all need help once in awhile, and that she would not have been there if someone had not helped her. When a patron responded, “That’s what the Lord wants us to do is help each other,” Amy replied, “Amen”.
In that moment something struck me that I was meant to pursue this work. People who are different or disadvantaged are actively taken out of our community and I want to be a part of bringing them back in.
Since my return to Boulder, my questions about my major and career path have been answered. I have declared a Sociology major and media minor. My career goals are now to work for a human rights nonprofit organization, more specifically, media for non profits.
In further expressing her immense gratitude to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation for her spring break scholarship opportunity, Moore-Shipley stated, “If it was not for your scholarship I would have never experienced this, my big questions still unanswered. I can’t thank you enough.”
Amy plans on continuing her involvement with the Volunteer Resource Center at CU during her remaining semesters in college and will be applying to lead an Alternative Spring Break trip next year.
Contribute to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation so that additional students may experience the rewards of an Alternative Spring Break.
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