Today’s guest blogger is our OSI Marketing Team’s Creative Assistant: Nicole Beuerlein. She is a sophomore majoring in Graphic Design. On campus, she is involved in Honors Student Government and is a DJ at Radio DePaul. Nicole was also on the UMIN Service Immersion Spring Break trip in Montgomery, Alabama and here she shares how this trip has impacted her life!
I’ve heard about the Service Immersion program since coming to DePaul freshman year; however, I never thought it would be something for me. Since the program is hosted by University Ministry, I was under the impression that Service Immersion is a religious-based service trip, and since I’ve never been too religious, I never really looked into it. Besides, I’m a broke college student and can’t afford a weeklong trip traveling across the country. That changed once my roommate dragged me along to one of the introductory Service Immersion meetings, and that was when I realized that even the trip leaders come from all sorts of religious backgrounds, and the trips are incredibly affordable with opportunities for scholarships.
This opened my eyes to the type of experience offered by the Service Immersion trip. Once accepted to Montgomery, Alabama, I was more nervous than excited; however, once I met my group, I already knew that friendships would be formed and that we would all get along well. On my trip, we learned about civil rights, and we didn’t just learn about the movement in the sixties. We learned about the racism and discrimination happening everyday, both the violent side and the discreet racism behind certain legislation.
What touched me the most about the experience is how welcoming the community was. We interacted with the same group of men and women for a week, and they treated us like family from day one. Toward the end of the week we had an amazing dinner during which we listened to esteemed members of the community speak about the injustices that they dedicate their lives toward changing. As absent as I have been from the service scene at DePaul these past two years, I have been completely inspired by the trip to join a group that tutors refugees at their homes. Upon returning home, I have had a greater appreciation for the interactions I have with others on a daily basis. My eyes have been opened, and I realize how truly fortunate I am.