Grand Canyon University Students Embark on Alternative Spring Break

Social Media Tools Blend Virtual Capabilities with Honduran Mission Trip

Mar 01, 2009, 13:12 ET from Grand Canyon University

PHOENIX, March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring break can be both a blessing and a curse, but is undoubtedly a time that all college students anticipate, planning trips that will allow them to escape studies and let loose for the week. Next week's break will be far from typical, however, for students at a private Arizona university who will focus their energies on doing good, rather than being bad. And they're inviting anyone and everyone to watch them along the way.

"Spring break alternatives are becoming a popular choice, as many students prefer to devote the week to service-oriented travel," said Elliott Lemenager, social media strategist at Grand Canyon University, a leading Phoenix-based private, intentionally Christian university. "Going on this trip will enable us to spawn conversation about what is going on in Honduras through social media channels, and demonstrate how GCU is taking a role to serve others on a global level."

Accompanying Lemenager on the nine-day mission trip will be two Grand Canyon University sophomore students - Karissa Kelsey and Alyssa Adams. Both students are looking forward to the chance to "give back" during a week typically devoted to partying.

"I feel so blessed to be able to go and serve in a country where there is so much need," said Clarkstown, Wash.-native Adams. "Having the chance to bring these people the simple joys and necessities in life, whether it's food, clothing, joy, happiness or faith; even if I reach just one person, it will be a successful trip."

While on the trip, Lemenager, Adams and Kelsey will harness the opportunity to share their experience with others through social media tools, inviting site visitors to engage in live chat via Ustream, live video, photo journaling and blogging.

"We're fortunate in that we'll have the capability to invite those from around the world to be global citizens right alongside us as we reach out to the villagers," said Lemenager. "We'll be posting daily for anyone who is interested in following us, essentially blending the worldwide virtual landscape with a very untouched one."

The majority of the trip will be spent in la Esperanza, Honduras where the group will serve in various ways - engaging in dialogue, educating about Christianity and offering much needed food, comfort and clothing. According to the Pan American Health Organization, "among indigenous children under the age of 14 in Honduras, 95 percent are malnourished."

In addition to feeding villagers and engaging in a religion-focused dialogue, the group will visit the children's home, as well as travel deep into the country, off the beaten path, where they will visit the smaller villages to spread faith-based messages.

"I think it will be interesting to see how God uses us," said Kelsey, who hails from Rancho Cucamonga, CA. "I'm nervous because I've never engaged people like this before, but I know God will speak through me when the time comes."

For those wishing to follow the three travelers visit More information about GCU's programming is available at or by calling 800.800.9776.

About Grand Canyon University

Founded in 1949, Grand Canyon University is a traditional regionally accredited, private, Christian university offering campus-based and online bachelor's and master's degree programs through the Ken Blanchard College of Business, College of Education, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and College of Liberal Arts. The Phoenix-based school is ranked as having one of the top online education programs by OEDb (Online Education Database). GCU emphasizes individual attention for both traditional undergraduate students as well as the working professional. For more information visit

SOURCE Grand Canyon University