Students help make difference

Rider University students Joseph Hafey and Debra McCandless of Howell are spending their spring break in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, working in two children’s orphanages and schools.

Seven Rider students traveled to Santo Domingo on March 9 and will be in the Dominican Republican until March 17 as a part of the Rider Catholic Minis-try and the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Community Services’ ongoing student service learning initiative.

They are working at the Hogar Escuela Armando Rosenberg Home and School, which houses about 3,000 children in the largest barrio in the country, and the Escuela Ave Maria, an orphanage of 150 students from preschool to high school.

According to information provided by the university, while in Santo Domingo, the students will unload cargos of food, clothing and other necessary items for the children’s living quarters. They will also repair leaky roofs and paint buildings to help create safe, bright buildings, teach the children English and help plan athletic events. Last year, Rider students raised $4,000 to provide new water purification systems for the facilities.

Hafey is a sophomore business administration major and McCandless is a senior business administration major.

The students will be joined on their trip by Deborah Venello, administrative assistant in Rider’s Educational Oppor-tunity Office, and Bruce Evans, associate Catholic campus minister. Evans has coordinated all of the Santo Domingo trips.