OSU-Tulsa student Rachel Millea confesses she didn’t know much about the rest of the world before this semester. “My education on international volunteerism was very limited.” But in just a few short months, a spark has ignited in Rachel to learn more and to become more involved globally.
JustHope Executive Director Jennifer Payton has been visiting Rachel’s Social Research Methods class (taught by long-time friend of JustHope Dr. Gay Phillips) at OSU-Tulsa this semester and working with them on a research project to better understand the impact JustHope trips make on participants. Teams of students have been assigned to study trip participants and to better understand how their thoughts, feelings and actions may be transformed by a JustHope trip. Dr. Phillips plans to carry this project forward in OSU-Tulsa and TCC coursework and dig deeper into how global experiences make lasting impressions and fuel social change.
In the meantime, this project has made an impression on Rachel: “From the very first day when I walked in the class and Jennifer was in there, I was like, ‘Ok, I’m really interested in what’s happening here. I want to find out more!’”
Rachel feels like she’s lived vicariously through trip participants: “It has awakened me and I feel more aware... I feel like I’m a completely different person than I was two months ago.” Rachel now claims she is “on fire” for JustHope and is already spreading the word amongst her friends.