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Lehigh Carbon Community College

Ana Bezerra, Marianna Herrera and Abby Catano helped translate for the Salvation Army. Photo by Parker Rinehart.

What started as a mandatory assignment for Spanish class turned into a heart-warming experience assisting the community.

Dr. Jennifer Summey requires her intermediate Spanish course to complete a service learning project; this semester it was spending time with Hispanic families at the Canton Salvation Army, assisting in translating for those participating in the Angel Tree Christmas gifting program.

Senior business administration major Abby Cantaño realized how easy it can be to be involved in helping her community. Although she holds experience in similar projects, this was her first time translating.

“I knew it was a need, but I didn’t realize how common this need is,” Cantaño said. “This project opened my eyes to the fact that I can fill a need just by having a conversation with a person in their own language.”

Summey’s students had the option to complete an alternate assignment on campus, but Cantaño, along with Marianna Herrera and Ana Bezerra, took part in the uplifting project.

“I was nervous when I first arrived, as I wasn’t quite sure if I would be able to translate what was needed of me, but once I was there and began talking with the families, things began to flow like a regular conversation,” said Cantaño.

Cantaño said the families were patient with their translating and expressed their gratitude for the Salvation Army.

“This was such a beautiful experience and I feel so blessed to have been a part of it. I am looking forward to being involved in more projects to help the wonderful families in the community.”

Summey’s service learning project is just one of the many ways Reinhardt connects its campus to the surrounding community, and is a part of Reinhardt’s “Where in the World RU Going?” program.