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St. Norbert College Students Choose Service Trips Instead of Traditional Winter Break

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From St. Norbert College, December 13, 2017
by Matthew Matuszak,, 920-403-3089

This winter, 11 groups of St. Norbert College students will travel to different national and global locations to take part in the TRIPS alternative break service program. The TRIPS Program is a collaboration between the Sturzl Center for Community Service and Learning and the Emmaus Center for Spiritual Life and Vocation. TRIPS (an acronym for Turning Responsibility Into Powerful Service) challenges students to put their beliefs into action by spending a week in service.

Each trip focuses on a particular area of need. The Winter 2017-2018 TRIPS programs and their participants are listed below:

Dec. 16-23, 2017, Children's Medical, Memphis, Tenn.

Students will volunteer at LeBonheur Children's Hospital to host special events for the hospitalized children, spend time with patients to give their parents a rest, and help brighten the lives of the patients and families. The participants will also assist at sites that provide lodging to families whose children are in treatment at the hospital. Participants include: Krystal Binversie (Sheboygan Falls, Wis.), Brianna Born (Sheboygan Falls, Wis.), Danielle Dessart (Green Bay, Wis.), Anna Giblin (Egg Harbor, Wis.), Sadie Jung (Round Lake, Ill.), Sarah Laurent (Neenah, Wis.), Ryan Nygaard (Plymouth, Wis.), Kalli Parra (Oconomowoc, Wis.), Sophia Salas (Milwaukee) and Nicole Wolf (St. Paul, Minn.).

Dec. 16-22, 2017, Children's Medical, Iowa City, Iowa

This group will work at University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, focusing on the children and their families. In addition, these students will have the opportunity to visit other organizations related to childrens health such, as the Ronald McDonald House. Participants include: Kaitlyn Denz (West Bend, Wis.), Sarah Duginske (Denmark, Wis.), Leigh Grall (Janesville, Wis.), Kelly Haen (Appleton, Wis.), Helen Hecht (Sister Bay, WI), Morgan Kelly (Valders, Wis.), Stephen Lin (Kimberly, Wis.), Kelsey Motto (Escanaba, Mich.), Mona Nolte (Appleto'n, Wis.), Amy Rasmussen (Plover, Wis.), Andrew Reinemann (Sheboygan, Wis.) and Molly VandenHouten (Green Bay, Wis).

Dec. 16-22, 2017, Reframing Communio: Sharing Life with Individuals with All Abilities, Clinton, Iowa

Students will travel to L'Arche in Clinton, Iowa. L'Arche is a community dedicated to the creation and growth of homes, programs and support networks with people who have intellectual disabilities. Their mission is to make known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities, to foster the development of communities that respond to members' changing needs and to engage with local cultures while working toward a more human society. Participants include: Megan Cibulka (Portage, Wis.), Hailey Cramer (Random Lake, Wis.), Louisa Keenan (Shawano, Wis.), Lizzy LeMere (Oneida, Wis.), Lauren Milbrandt (Hudson, Wis.), Mason Olson (Minocqua, Wis.), Owen Ward (Mequon, Wis.) and Mikaela Wolf (Minneapolis).

Jan. 6-20, 2018, International Medical, Nicaragua

Students will travel with an organization called Panorama Service Expeditions for a medical brigade. They will work closely with local doctors and medical students in medical consultations and assist in a pharmacy under the direction of licensed pharmacists. Students will serve both urban and rural populations. Participants include: Radek Buss (Czech Republic), Maggie Ford (Fond du Lac, Wis.), Amy Holzer (Hartford, Wis.), Olivia Johnson (Green Bay, Wis.), Kaci Keleher (Oconomowoc, Wis.), Annika Neerdaels (Phillips, Wis.), Sarah Parbs (Reeseville, Wis.), Brittany Rupp (Green Bay, Wis.), Monica Stephans (Hartford, Wis.) and Annika Wallander (Waukesha, Wis.).

Jan. 6-20, 2018, International Poverty, St. Lucia, West Indies

These students will work in the capital city and other small villages with participants of various ages and faiths. Projects will include home construction, painting, craft work, music, medical care, and visiting homes and prisons. Participants include: Isabel Detienne (Sheboygan, Wis.), Madeline Barnes (Rhinelander, Wis.), John Jordan (Geneva, Ill.), Corrine Justice (Eagle River, Wis.), Mitchell Lipke (Hartland, Wis.) and Amanda Schmidt (Racine, Wis.).

Jan. 6-13, 2018, Academy of St. Benedict the African: Celebrating the Diversity of Our Talents, Chicago

This is one of the longest running TRIPS experiences. Groups from St. Norbert College have been traveling to St. Benedict the African School for almost 30 years. Participants will work in the school on a one-on-one basis with young students and help in the after school program. While in Chicago, students stay at the Amate House and interact with individuals who have committed one or more years to post-graduation service. Participants include: Tessa Badtke (Sheboygan, Wis.), Emma Dickinson (Madison, Wis.), Joelynn Frisch (Nekoosa, Wis.), Cole Grabowski (Oak Creek, Wis.), Mariah Kluck (Rosholt, Wis.), Zachary Krueger (Green Bay, Wis.), Anne Oleniczak (Milwaukee), Madison Stolze (Schofield, Wis.), Haley Wagner (Kiel, Wis.) and Evelyn Zaker (Chicago).

Jan. 7-12, 2018, St. Anthony School: Education for the Whole Person, Milwaukee

On this trip, the group of students will work at St. Anthony School and focus on helping the students there learn about what it means to go to college. These students will be working alongside St. Norbert College alumni. The fifth grade students from St. Anthony School will be visiting St. Norbert College on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Participants include: Bekah Cleaver (Elroy, Wis.), Tekoya Cosby (Wausau, Wis.), Paige Costa (Spring Grove, Ill.), Heather Hellweg (Black Creek, Wis.), Rylee Kramer (Kaukauna, Wis.), Larissa Loftus (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Hope Martin (St. Paul, Minn.), Laura Riegg (Milwaukee), SarahEllen Sankey (Sussex, Wis.), Nathan Simanek (New Berlin, Wis.), Sarah Spaude (Seymour, Wis.) and Abigail Stewart (De Pere, Wis.).

Jan. 12-20, 2018, Our Brother's Place: Learning to be Family with Those Who Have None, Philadelphia

Participants will work with men who are homeless and connected with Our Brothers' Place, a shelter serving the needs of 300 men. The group will meet with the staff to learn about homelessness, perform manual labor, serve lunch and interact with the guests. Participants will also live and pray with the Norbertines. They will stay at Daylesford Abbey and have the opportunity to participate in morning and evening prayer in addition to mass. This trip will give students a service experience, along with a deeper understanding of the Norbertine tradition. Participants include: Lisa Beine (Kohler, Wis.), Michael Byrne (Niles, Ill.), Alexandria Magiera (Island Lake, Ill.), Griffin Monfils (Shawano, Wis.), Charlie Pollock (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.), Tori Renfus (Batavia, Wis.), Bobbi Schlenvogt (Port Washington, Wis.), Dana Schwab (Milwaukee), Ana Smith (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.), Lillianna Swenson (Oregon, Wis.), Brittny Thackray (Sheboygan Falls, Wis.) and Amanda Van Handel (Hortonville, Wis.).

Jan. 13-20, 2018, Children's Medical, Memphis, Tenn.

Students will volunteer at LeBonheur Children's Hospital to host special events for the hospitalized children; spend time with children to give their parents a break; and help brighten the lives of the patients and their families through other tasks. The participants may also assist at sites that provide lodging to families whose children are in treatment at the hospital. Participants include: Sarah Bowles (Libertyville, Ill.), Emily Bretl (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.), Danielle Harris (Monona, Wis.), Fiona Holahan (Milwaukee), McKenna Lacy (McFarland, Wis.), Hannah Peck (Wausau, Wis.), Kylie Pedersen (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Ally Solowicz (Neenah, Wis.), Adam Woebbeking (Harshaw, Wis.) and Samantha Yenter (Amherst, Wis.).

Jan. 14-20, 2018, Homelessness and Poverty, Washington, D.C.

Students will serve at homeless shelters, in soup kitchens and may deliver blankets or meals to people on the street. The participants will discover the root causes of homelessness in the United States and what they can do about it, from direct service to activism in the nation's capital. Participants include: Andrew Gehring (Green Bay, Wis.), Kortney Kohnke (Fond du Lac, Wis.), Jarod Meffert (Jackson, Wis.), Tori Nelsen (Gurnee, Ill.), Julia Novotny (Plymouth, Wis.), Milena Pirman (Appleton, Wis.), Natasha Rynish (Bonduel, Wis.), Briana Scott (Waukesha, Wis.), Adam Strube (Lemont, Ill.), Cailyn Tompa (Phoenix), Nathan Velicer (De Pere, Wis.) and Alyssa Wegner (Waukesha, Wis.).

Jan. 14-20, 2018, Immigration and Refugee Issues, Chicago

During this trip, participants will learn more about the issues related to immigration and undocumented individuals, including refugees. This trip allows for a balance of education and service about social justice issues. Participants include: Mirian Arvizu (Little Chute, Wis.), Caytie Joe Boknevitz (Milwaukee), Claire Duening (Manitowoc, Wis.), Brooke Mathias (Wilson, Mich.), Tony Pineda (Mount Prospect, Ill.), Emilie Smith (Green Bay, Wis.) and Amy Stel (Markesan, Wis.).

For more information on the TRIPS program, contact Jennifer Nissen, assistant director of community service and learning at the Sturzl Center, at 920-403-3374 or

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