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Blugolds find spring break is for service-learning

| Jessica Wicklund

Sophia Thoen and 18 other UW-Eau Claire students completed their service-learning hours in Indianapolis over spring break instead of hitting the beaches.

Prior to hopping on the bus, Sophia was wary of what to expect but upon her return, she had a big smile and a big story to tell.

The students had a full week of traveling to Indianapolis shelters and mission centers to complete volunteer projects.

From pulling honeysuckle at the Jameson Camp to sharing advice with high school students at Crystal Rey college prep school, Sophia’s service-learning experience was more than just a spring break trip to Indiana.

Sophia’s experience at Wheeler Mission Ministries, a residential religious-based shelter for men, women, children and recovering addicts, brought her to the realization that she has a deep passion for child welfare.

“It helped me realize how much I want to get my degree and begin helping people.”

Sophia noted how all of the UW-Eau Claire students were destined to meet each other, “It turned into so much more than service-learning – it was destiny. I have 18 new best friends, we eat lunch together every day.”

Sophia plans to continue volunteering and making her own mark on the world.