Our sophomore class traveled with their faculty advisors to NYC for our annual Youth Service Opportunities Program (YSOP) retreat where they delved into issues of food and housing insecurity and the impact felt by families throughout NY State. The group began their two day retreat with a lecture and discussion about hunger and homelessness, then cooked and served a meal at the on-site soup kitchen run by YSOP. They spent the next day traveling in groups throughout NYC to volunteer at various soup kitchens and food pantries, returning to debrief and share their experiences and observations.
This annual retreat offers students a valuable opportunity to step outside their comfort zones and discover firsthand the struggles faced by countless individuals and families as they try to make ends meet under challenging economic circumstances. These and other experiential learning experiences are at the heart of Oakwood's academic program that weaves social justice into all aspects of the curriculum and challenges our students to think deeply about the most pressing issues facing our nation and the world.
YSOP engages youth, college students and adults in meaningful service experiences through an innovative program that combines an orientation to the issues, hands-on volunteer work and reflection. Using orientation and reflection to frame their service experiences, YSOP inspires participants to broaden their perspectives and become engaged citizens.