PHILADELPHIA - For the second consecutive year, La Salle University volleyball student-athlete Jenny Edwards will spend three weeks of her summer taking part in Project Mapendo, a service mission in conjunction with the Lasallian Immersion and Volunteer Experience (LIVE) program that is run by La Salle's University Ministry and Service (UMAS) organization.
Project Mapendo (which translated from Swahili means "Project Love") partners La Salle students with the St. Mary's Boys Secondary School, a fellow Lasallian institution in Nyeri, Kenya. Edwards and the other volunteers will work primarily with the Juniors Program, where Kenyan students range from the ages of four to eighteen.
The group will have the opportunity to teach classes as well as provide tutoring on an individual basis. They will perform development work to improve St. Mary's administrative processes as well as general school conditions.
"Last year, the three weeks I spent in Nyeri was not long enough and I am excited to go back to deepen the relationships I built as we continue to learn from one another," Edwards said.
A political science and economics major, Edwards saw action in 16 matches for the Explorers and posted a career-high 22 digs in a five-set victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Playa Del Rey, Calif. native says the service she has been able to provide to others during her two years at La Salle has been a blessing.
"I went to a high school where service hours were required, but the service I completed in high school was not nearly as meaningful as the work I've done at La Salle," Edwards said. "I've developed an understanding of what the difference between social justice and charity is, and it has been vital to my individual growth."
A post-trip recap of Edwards' trip to Kenya, including photos and journal entries, will be posted on GoExplorers.com later this summer.