Members of the College of Eastern Utah's SUN (Serving Utah Network) program took their Spring Break in Four Corners instead of Cabo San Lucas or Ft. Lauderdale this year. The group helped build a path, for the region's Navajo Indians, and built a shade house,
Instead of spending spring break at the beach enjoying fun in the sun, CEU students with the SUN Center spent their time working up a sweat while providing help to people in need.
During the week of March 15-19, 19 students with the Serving Utah Network (SUN) Improvement Center went down to the Navajo Indian Reservation near the Four Corners area and spent the week working on various projects and learning about the culture and people in the area. One of the main projects included building wheelchair ramps for two sisters who are blind.
The humanitarian project brought a number of people into the fold as the wheelchair ramps were built at CEU by the welding department. Sen. David Hinkins (R-27) spent some time helping out the students and also provided two large mining belts for use by the sisters in getting around outside their homes.
The belts provided a walkway for the sisters to use in getting to each other's homes, which are separated by a quarter of a mile.
The students also helped remodel one of the sister's bathrooms and helped build a shade house which Navajos use to do various things like cook in and live in during the summer months.
"It brought a smile to my face to see everything we were able to help out with," said Cole Unsworth, CEU SUN Center president. 'It was an amazing feeling and experience."
United Way and Active Re-Entry helped work on the project with the SUN Center. Students held fundraisers to help pay for the trip and had to provide their own money to make the trip possible.
Bringing together a group of people working toward a common goal to help someone out was something that will be remembered for a while, Unsworth said.
"These projects bring together students of all different backgrounds, cultures," Unsworth said. "We formed friendships with each other and who we are taking the time to help out. The work seems overwhelming at the beginning, but at the end of the day after working hard, we were able to complete our goals."
While the trip involved hard work and sacrificing a week off from school, it was a chance to help others in need, said Bekah Robinson, CEU SUN Center leader.
"It's really great to go out to serve and help others out," Robinson said. "It's a sacrifice to give up your spring break but it's more worthwhile when you are helping someone else in need."
The SUN Center was established in May of 1993 with the goal to train student leaders who work with community partners to fill the needs and become a beneficial past of the area where they have chosen to attend school, according to the group's Web site.
The mission of the CEU Sun Center is to empower students, faculty and community members to become a part of the solution to the needs of the community, according to group's Web site.
Recently, students with the SUN Center, along with other students from colleges around Utah, went up to Salt Lake City spending the day at Primary Children's Medical Center.