Rivier Serves projects benefit communities in Louisiana, Costa Rica, and New Hampshire

Rivier students and faculty in Costa Rica for a clinical immersion trip.

Rivier University students, staff and faculty traveled to Louisiana and Costa Rica to perform community service projects during spring break. The Louisiana event is a service project coordinated by Rivier's Campus Ministry Office. Nursing students and faculty flew to Costa Rica on a faculty-led clinical immersion trip. Both groups are working with local community members on projects to improve their quality of life.

On March 4, Rivier faculty members Cheryl Bragdon and Tracy Hardy escorted a group of nursing students to Alajuela, Costa Rica, where they were welcomed by their hosts, the Franciscan Sisters of the Most Pure Conception. Students have spent time in clinics and making home visits to provide healthcare services. They are immersing themselves in the culture and daily life of the island and gaining insight on the global healthcare system. Prior to their trip, the students organized a successful health and hygiene products drive and brought a large supply of items for donation to local clinics.

Through their Facebook page Rivier Serves in Costa Rica 2017, students have shared photos of Alajuela and their activities. They have described the Costa Rican people as "warm and welcoming" and their encounters with the community as "humbling."

RivServes_NewOrleans2017Kristin Nelson, Director of Campus Ministry, is leading the Alternative Spring Break trip. "We are traveling to New Orleans from March 3-12," said Nelson. "Along with other college and university students, we are conducting hands-on service and to reflect and examine the need for and purpose of service through the lens of faith." Rivier student volunteers are participating in the ServeUp New Orleans national service project to rebuild homes compromised by flood and storm damage.

Building on this momentum, Rivier first-year students will take part in the University's fifth annual Day of Service on April 22. Each year on a designated day in April, the entire freshmen class, along with peer mentors and staff members, perform community service at non-profit organizations throughout the Greater Nashua area. Students gain an appreciation for service and connect with the local community by contributing their time and talents to those in need.