A Tale of Two Cities: buildOn Detroit & Chicago Serve, Explore the Windy City

What’s a good recipe for fun service learning during the summer? Throw in some travel.

buildOn organized a cross-cultural, service-learning trip for its staff and members in Detroit and Chicago. This is the second year in row that Detroit members took a Mega Bus down to the Windy City to participate in the trip, which provides students with leadership skills and fresh ideas for launching service programs.

Highlights of the visit:
• Serving at Benton House Community Center, where members stocked the food pantry and harvested seeds in the community garden.
• Lunching, shopping and absorbing the culture in Little India
• Learning about our solar system at Adler Planetarium
• Watching the fireworks at Navy Pier
• Listening to jazz music at Millennium Park
• Bonding during team-builders, games and ice-breaker activities

Students learned about community issues affecting Chicago and Detroit in between exploring the city by subway. They talked about how even though they live in different cities they have a lot in common. Most importantly, they walked away with new friends who share a love for service.

“No matter where you go and what you do, buildOn is a family that can’t be duplicated anywhere else,” wrote Brooke Ahles, buildOn Program & Trek Coordinator, via email. “Even though we are in different regions, we are the same and our mission is the same and will always continue to grow.”