When Dyesha Durm spent her spring break volunteering at an orphanage and bringing clean water and composting projects to Peru, she knew she’d find a way back.
“I wanted to continue serving this community,” says the sociology major from Catonsville, MD. She was one of ten students who participated in the first NYIT Alternative Spring Break program in March.
For this aspiring social worker, one week of service in Independencia, a low-income neighborhood of the capital, Lima, was not enough.
“There is something magical about Peru,” Durm explains. “It is mesmerizing in some areas with its beautiful old architecture and rich culture, and humbling in others with its poverty.”
Inspired by those she met on her first trip, Durm did find a way to return after less than three months. She’s spending her summer break teaching English through a YMCA in Independencia. She is also coordinating service projects in Azpitia —60 miles south of Independencia— and working with other volunteer groups to finish the soccer field and surrounding structure started by NYIT students during spring break.
She adds: “The people of Independencia are the strongest I have ever met— despite living in poverty they would give you the shirts off their backs.”
Durm thanks Amy Bravo, director of experiential education and employer outreach, for her “amazing” support of students seeking ways to expand their perspectives through service.
“She roped me in, and her guidance has put me in contact with something that I find very rewarding and has helped better me as a person.”