Getting to Know

College service projects prepare coed for teaching career

2013-02-28T00:00:00Z College service projects prepare coed for teaching careerBy Kimberly Cheek-Stanley Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 28, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Munster native Alexa Groen is gaining valuable leadership skills at Dordt College through the Sioux Center, Iowa school’s AMOR service projects.

A 2010 Illiana Christian High School graduate, Groen is studying Elementary and Special Education at the Iowa college.

She was one of 23 students to travel to Jamaica in January on a week- long AMOR mission trip where she helped with construction and renovation projects in Bamboo, Kingston and Ocho Rios.

“AMOR is an acronym for A Mission Out-Reach. We stayed with Caribbean Lifetime Missions in the small town of Bamboo and the majority of our time was spent working in this location,” she said.

Groen’s group was responsible for visiting orphanages and those with special needs, running a Vacation Bible School program and constructing cinder block walls for a school under construction.

“I primarily worked with school-aged children on this trip. One girl in particular really touched my heart when she handed me a small pin. Knowing that she had little else, I had a hard time receiving it from her, but she insisted. I realized once again how richly blessed I am,” she said.

Groen also served last year in Neon, Ky. with a group of 10 Dordt students, framing and pouring the foundation of a home.

She hopes to teach in a Christian school upon graduation. “I have always had a passion for kids and I think that God has gifted me to be a teacher. I hope to help children discover their place in the God's world, their gifts, and their potential,” she said.

“Each comes to the classroom with a unique personality, cultural and family background, and learning ability. Education is essential for empowering children.”

A vacation Bible school leader for eight years at Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Lansing, Groen serves as a Community Development Assistant at Dordt College and works with the Special Olympics Basketball and Track and Field teams in her area.

To nominate someone for this feature, contact kimberly.a.cheek@gmail.com.

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