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Fraternity Blog

Posted On: Monday, July 29, 2013 09:22 AM, by Lisa Gebken Thibault
Veronica at the Habitat house
The Kappa Alpha Theta Service Immersion trip took place in New Orleans, La., the week of June 23-30. There were a total of 19 Theta women from across the U.S. as participants and I had the wonderful opportunity to serve as one of the lead facilitators for the experience. My day job is the director of student-athlete academic services at Lehigh University, but I facilitate a number of different experiences for campuses and other organizations.

We were in NOLA for a total of six days, and during this time we experienced and learned so much! The experience began Sunday night during our education session where we asked the women to think about why they were on the trip. We asked them to remember the purpose of serving and also realize that this is more than just a service trip, but an immersion experience that would change their lives. This reflective activity sparked the flame for what we would experience for the duration of the trip.

During our time, we had the pleasure of being led on two historic tours of NOLA that provided all of us with a perspective that maybe we hadn't thought of before. The women were in total admiration of the stories told and the places that we visited. For some, this was the highlight of the trip. For others, the highlight was our work with Habitat for Humanity NOLA. In my opinion, this is where the magic happened with putting what the women had been learning about serving leadership to action. As facilitators, we overheard the women using the language and helping others identify their strengths and how they were being put to use. Oh the joy that we felt in seeing the experience come together!

I felt a sense of burning passion from the first night. The women were totally engaged, and had a very strong willingness to be vulnerable and learn something about themselves that maybe they hadn't realized before coming on the trip. The passion that the women exuded was contagious, and always had everyone on a high level of committed attentiveness to need to serve others, one of the main tenants of servant leadership. Though the trip took place almost a month ago, we are still engaged through a Facebook group, and hold each other accountable to our projects and what we learned/committed to on the trip. Just a few weeks ago, I received a note in the mail from a participant that brought tears to my eyes. I will never forget what happened on the Kappa Alpha Theta Service Immersion Trip 2013. It changed my life.

Veronica Hunter is the director of student-athlete academic services at Lehigh University, and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

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