Eight students from the the School of Journalism and Communication (SJC) will embark on a mission trip to El Salvador this spring break that is completely different from the traditional mission trips that most students are accustomed to. Rather than focusing on the medical field, it emphasizes to communication skills, according to SJC professor Natalia Lopez-Thismon.
“It’s been a dream of mine for a while now, since I started teaching, that I wanted to be able to make an opportunity for our students to use their talents in the mission field,” Lopez-Thismon said.
This is the first time that a mission trip like this has been offered at Southern, according to the uQuest missions office. Communication students that have skills in production, writing and other forms of media will be able to utilize their talents on this trip. SJC students will be working with Adventist Disaster and Relief Agency (ADRA) Connections and ADRA El Salvador.
“I just reached out to my friend Adam Wamack, who is now the ADRA connections director. I talked to him a little bit about the idea… And so we are only their second media trip,” Lopez-Thismon said.
Josué Vega, a sophomore mass communication-media production major, is one of the students going on the trip. He recalled hearing about it when a representative from the uQuest missions office stopped by one of his classes and talked about the new opportunity for SJC students.
“It really piqued my interest, especially since we’d get to use the skills that we’ve been learning in our department on the mission field…and not just going out there and using skills that I’m not trained for. So, that really appealed to me,” Vega said.
While some students will focus more on editing and writing, others will focus more on photography and videography. All in all, the students will be creating content to help bring more awareness to ADRA El Salvador.
“I think any opportunity that we have to help those in need is a calling from God,” Vega said.