It will be Serve Beyond Cincinnati’s first trip to Haiti as students become the first group dedicated to specifically building housing in a remote village.
|Serve Beyond Cincinnati in El Salvador|
Long, along with Lane Hart, a UC junior in information systems and finance, are co-presidents of the UC student-created Serve Beyond Cincinnati (SBC) organization. Both Long and Hart are leading SBC’s first trip to Haiti this spring.
Ten SBC students will be working with the Fuller Center for Housing in Balan, Haiti, a town just east of the capital of Port-au-Prince. “We will be building the first house in this village, a home for a family displaced by the earthquake,” Long says. “There’s an increasing demand for housing in these rural areas as large numbers of people move out of the city.” The students will be departing Cincinnati on March 18 and returning on March 26.
Long says the group will be staying in a research facility run by the University of Notre Dame. The students are getting the appropriate immunizations before leaving for an area ravaged by the earthquake and the more recent cholera outbreak.
“I’m so excited to go to Haiti,” she says. “I’ve never been on the typical spring break trip, but I feel like I’ve experienced so much more through my trips with Serve Beyond Cincinnati (SBC) and through helping people.”
Serve Beyond Cincinnati is an organization created in 2007 by UC students who envisioned fueling the passion of a civic-minded generation by providing national and international service experiences for UC students. Costs of the trips are supported through student fundraising.
The spring of her freshman year, Long traveled with SBC to Guatemala, where the group also had the chance to hike in a volcano. Her sophomore year, she led a trip to El Salvador. After joining the organization’s executive board during her junior year, Long traveled with SBC on their first trip to Peru, where students built an additional classroom on an existing school. The school faced an influx of an additional 40 students after a nearby village was destroyed by a flood.
In addition to the Haiti trip, SBC is planning four other spring break service trips to Peru, El Salvador, Webster Parish, La., and Kansas City, Mo.
Long is now considering graduate school and pursuing a master’s degree in public health, but says she wants to stay involved in SBC through spring quarter. In addition to her activities in SBC, she is also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and UC’s Mortar Board honor society for college seniors. She has also been active with What’s in a Doctor’s Bag? – an organization dedicated to educating children in underprivileged areas about the benefits of regular medical treatment and preventative care.
“Theta and SBC have both been such a huge part of my college experience,” she says. “All of the friends I have made and the places I’ve traveled have been through those outlets, so it would be hard to imagine what college would have been like if I didn’t have those things.”