Colgate Students Head to St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts, BasseterreA group of Colgate University student volunteers will be heading to the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis this January to do community service work.  Under the direction of Colgate’s Max Shacknai COVE (Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education), the students will be helping with several projects.

COVE Program Director Griffin O’Shea said the students will be involved in projects on both islands.  “This is the first COVE project in the Caribbean and we’re excited to provide a new cultural experience for our student volunteers. St. Kitts and Nevis is a beautiful country, and at the same time one dealing with serious social issues.  We hope to experience the best of the country’s rich culture and heritage, and play an active role in the fight against gang violence and social inequality in whatever small capacity we can during our visit.”

The students, along with 2 staff advisers, will be in the host country January 5-18, and are tentatively scheduled to volunteer with 4 projects.  One involves working with students on environmental and after school projects at two secondary schools on St. Kitts, a second assigns volunteers to assist the St. Kitts Ministry of Culture in the expansion of social media programs.  The students will also spend 2 days in Nevis working with the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society on digitizing files and preparing for the organization’s celebration of the birth date of Alexander Hamilton, a Founding Father of the United States born in Nevis in 1755.

The student volunteers will work with at risk youth as part of Operation Future, an intervention program initiated in coordination with the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force designed to address the issues of youth crime and violence and gang culture.

COVE’s initiative in St. Kitts and Nevis follows the success of an earlier project of Community Bikes of Hamilton to send bicycles to two programs for at risk youth in the Caribbean nation.  Community Bikes’ Founder Chuck Fox is a Colgate graduate, and has been working with the COVE staff to help coordinate some of the arrangements.

“We are excited about this opportunity for our students,” said O’Shea.  “We are happy to be welcomed into such a vibrant community and look forward to witnessing and helping with the inspiring work done every day by our community partners.  We hope this will begin a long term relationship for COVE with St. Kitts and Nevis.”

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