Blue Hen Leadership Program trip leaders (from left) Andrea Vilorio, Mackenzie Rowe and Becky Bronstein.

BHLP service trip

Blue Hen Leadership Program provides service in Puerto Rico

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11:09 a.m., Feb. 7, 2014--A group of 24 University of Delaware students and two staff members from the University Student Centers’ Blue Hen Leadership Program (BHLP) recently returned from an alternate break service trip to Puerto Rico that focused on the environment and sustainability. 

While on the trip, students made an impact through service in the El Yunque rainforest and at two local Boys and Girls clubs.

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The trip was the result of a BHLP Tier 2 project that aimed to increase awareness and passion for environmental concerns among students on campus.

The three student trip leaders -- Becky Bronstein, an Honors Program student and an environmental sciences major in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment; Mackenzie Rowe, who is studying communications and public policy in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Andrea Vilorio, a human services major in the College of Education and Human Development -- worked for over a year to make the trip reality. They contributed greatly to the peer-to-peer learning that occurred on the trip, and reinforced themes of active citizenship, community engagement and leadership to the group. 

The students ranged from freshmen to seniors and represented all three levels of the BHLP. Collectively, the group contributed nearly 600 hours of service over the week.

Students engaged in trail maintenance and shelter maintenance in the El Yunque rainforest and were able to enjoy breaks from the heat in local waterfalls.

Environmental education was key to the group’s work at the Boy and Girls clubs, as students developed a bingo game that educated young children about the animals in their local ecosystems.

The site leaders will continue to work with the partner agency, Community Collaborations International, as part of their BHLP Tier 3 project. In this level, the students will work closely with the non-profit agency to understand how it operates and provide solutions to a “wicked problem” the agency faces. 

BHLP offers numerous programs throughout the year that engage students in theoretical and experiential learning in the areas of personal and group leadership development. 

The program, which is open to all enrolled students, has more than 250 participants.

For more information on the Blue Hen Leadership Program, see the website or stop by the BHLP Center in 157 Trabant University Center. 

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