PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio – A group of Owens Community College faculty, students and recent graduates will have the opportunity to impact the lives of residents in Chimbote, Peru through volunteer efforts as they participate in the academic institution’s Peru Study and Service Abroad Program, May 14-24.
Owens students participating in the international service learning experience are Carey Fulk of Mansfield, Sarah Miles of Toledo, Kendra Shellhammer of Rossford and Christina Perry of Perrysburg, while recent graduates include Lindsay Bendele of Fort Jennings, Amanda Sheeks of Bowling Green and Stephanie Ramsey of Rossford. Owens faculty members accompanying the students and recent graduates to Peru are Associate Professor of Dental Hygiene Susan Wannemacher of Toledo and Adjunct Instructor of Massage Therapy Andrew Larsen of Toledo.
“I love working with people and helping others,” explained Owens world languages student Christina Perry, who also serves as a Civic Ambassador in the College’s Office of Student Learning. “People are in need, both in our country and abroad, and this is an opportunity to impact their lives.”
Coordinated by the College’s Office of International Programs and Services through a partnership with Community Colleges for International Development and the organization’s Troika Study Abroad Programs, the Owens group will arrive in Lima on Tuesday, May 14. During their days in the impoverished city of Chimbote, Owens participants will have the opportunity to learn about social, economic and other aspects of life in the city and its surrounding neighborhoods as well as engage in a variety of cultural and custom-specific activities with the local residents.
Owens representatives will also volunteer their time at several local shelters, clinics and agencies during their visit to Peru. Volunteer activities will include working in soup kitchens and daycare centers, providing educational outreach for Chimbote residents and engaging in a home-building project.
In addition, Owens representatives will have the opportunity to explore the culture and history specific to different regions of Peru during visits to Lima and Trujillo.
Owens representatives will share their service and educational learning experience in Chimbote with faculty and students from partnering American community colleges, including Davidson County Community College in Lexington, N.C. and Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tenn.
Group members are expected to return to Northwest Ohio and Owens Community College on Friday, May 24.
In addition to the study and service learning abroad initiative, Owens’ Office of International Programs and Services provides educational opportunities to international students. Over 100 students from 35 countries are pursuing a higher education at Owens. Countries represented in Owens’ international student enrollment are Kenya, Egypt, China, India, Venezuela, Brazil, Columbia, Serbia, Norway and Saudi Arabia, among others.
Owens Community College is an accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education that has served Northwest Ohio since 1965. With a commitment to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability, the College serves the diverse academic needs of credit and non-credit students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, as well as at the Arrowhead Park Learning Center in Maumee and the Learning Center at The Source in downtown Toledo. Owens offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit www.owens.edu.