VSU Honors Program students help teach youth in Morocco

VSU students (left to right) Arrisa Hanson (May 2015 graduate; psychology; Richmond, VA); Jasmine Blocker (sophomore, biology, Columbia, SC); and Yainkain Kallon (junior; IDST; Richmond, VA) and children from the village of Merzhoug, Morocco in front of the local community center. NOT PICTURED: Jason Daniels (freshman, computer science, Baltimore); Brandon Lancaster (sophomore, computer engineering, Norfolk)

PETERSBURG, Va (WRIC) — Students in Virginia State University’s Honors Program visited Morocco where they served in the Saharan villages and taught fine motor skill development strategies to young children and their teachers.

Five students had interaction with local youth and also met with community leaders and members of local women’s associations. They helped the children and their teachers improve long-term cognitive development and literacy skills.

“Interacting with the residents of the villages and serving in their communities built rapport and helped dispel some stereotypes of Americans” said Arrisa Hanson, one of the students in the course and VSU’s 2015 Valedictorian. “This was possible because of our approach and willingness as a culture to address challenges both locally and internationally.”

The students developed a strategy for future VSU support to the region through service learning opportunities.

VSU Honors Program director Dr. Daniel Roberts noted “I am so pleased to see students from so many different disciplines traveling together and sharing such an impactful experience.  I hope even more students engage in the opportunity next year.”


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