PACE Services Breaking Down Barriers

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By:  Jeremy Logan

For students with disabilities or barriers to employment, PACE (People Accessing Careers and Education) is the place for integration. Ever wonder what the Log cabin across the street from the main campus is? Well that is PACE-SEER, a program developed by two women whose intent was only to help students with reading skills. Since its inception PACE has grown into much more than that.
As of this spring, PACE offers 31 different classes that range from sign language to leadership that cover the following: job skills, communication skills, life skills, computer work, sign language, and reading.
According to their literature, “PACE serves individuals through Spokane County Community Services/DDA (Developmental disabilities Administration), DVR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Spokane County Mental health programs and high schools, and individuals that do not have a funding source as well.”
Linda DeFord is the Assistant Dean for PACE services and has been with the program for 26 years. “PACE services is a non accredited educational and employment program for folks that have significant challenges,” DeFord said. “We get students ready for employment.”
Employment is the main focus for PACE Services. Providing for adults with disabilities, the tools necessary to become productive members of society so they may be able to obtain and maintain employment.
“They are enhancing and learning skills because we believe in lifelong education, with the ultimate goal being employment,” DeFord said.
The students at PACE are not simply dumped off at a job and told to sink or swim. PACE also assists in job retention by providing regular on-site visits, phone calls to employers and participants, and performance evaluations.
“We focus everything we do around employment because with alot of our students finding employment is difficult,” Deford said. “We have employment specialists that help students find jobs in the community.”
“We really focus on employment readiness skills, but at the same time we want the students to have access to their communities. We want students to have a college experience,” DeFord said. “A lot of our students would never have that opportunity but they are given that opportunity through the community colleges of spokane.”
Here at SFCC, the students of PACE are given access to the game room, all the activities, and are encouraged to be participants in the Spokane Falls community.
Some students even go as far as to transitioning to credited classes with SCC.
“We do have a couple a year that will transition to the campuses of SCC, which doesn’t sound like a large amount but when you look at the caliber of students in our program,” DeFord said, “most of our students qualify for services through developmental disabilities administration, so they have some sort of developmental disability. So for them to take credit classes on campus is huge.”
As part of their leadership skills class students come up with ideas to give back to the community through service work and fundraising for various charities.
“We have done fundraising for the guild school penny drive,” DeFord said. “We donated to Project Hope, a west central community. They train youth in growing gardens, business skills, and some job skills. So we partnered with them and some clubs at Spokane Falls to do this fundraiser.”
On June 5, PACE will be performing a talent show in the Student Union Building, where the students of PACE will get a chance to showcase their talents and take donations of nonperishable items for the Spokane Falls Food Bank.
“We believe in service learning and giving back to the community,” DeFord said. “We are grateful to Spokane Falls and what they do for our students so we are doing this as a service learning project.”
Then on June 17, at 1:30 in the Student Union Building, the students of PACE will be celebrating the end of the school year. Several students will talk about what PACE has done for them, what their life was like and what it is like now.
“Thats always fun. Students perform and talk about what they have learned at PACE Services,” DeFord said. “It’s a jam packed room, it is a lot of fun, and it’s open to everyone.”

Biology students visit the Pacific Ocean for annual three day field trip

Caroline Rhoads
The Communicator

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This spring, Students and teachers spent three nights sleeping outdoors at Camp Ramblewood on the Sequim Bay. While there, they get to see the ocean light up at night as the jellyfish illuminated the water.
For almost 45 years the science department at Spokane Falls sends a group of students to the Olympic Peninsula for a field-studies course in Biology. This year the trip was from May 15th to May 18th.
“It was one of my favorite parts” Acacia England, one of the students, said. “I would take the the end of the net and [drag it through the water] you could see it shimmer.”  This light, called bioluminescence, is caused by a chemical reaction produced by Dinoflagellates, which are microscopic single-celled Protists (a kingdom of organisms like plants or animals).
The dinoflagellates are also responsible for the red-tides that make consuming shellfish toxic during certain times of the year. “The sign only warns against eating two types of clams,”  Dr. Laurel Hansen , one of the biology professors who works to keep the trip going every year, said. “But I wouldn’t eat any of them; they’re all filter-feeders.”
During the day, students and instructors went out to explore the beach during low tide, when all the organisms are easier to find and document.
In addition to Sequim Bay, the class also visited Rocky Point at Crescent Bay and split up to visit different areas depending on their projects and interests.
“The rocky beach was really cool,” England said. “It was like a carpet of mussels, there was so much there. It was really hard to believe.”
“I saw more sea life there than any other coast ever,” Joey Boyd, another student who attended the trip, said.
Field studies classes offer students something they don’t get in the classroom. “One of the most educational experiences a student can have is to go out and experience it,” Dr. Hansen said. “You can show them so much in the classroom, but it’s not like being outside.”
The class requires students to get close to their organisms in their natural environment and observe how they relate to the ecosystem.
“You actually get to see their movements and mannerisms,” Timmy Lister, an SFCC chemistry major said. “You can learn all the theories, but until you go out and apply what you learned, you’re not getting the overarching picture.”
This creates a deeper learning experience and complements what students have been learning in the classroom. “The ideal learning experience is hands-on,” Dr. Hansen said, “second best is from book and labs.”
According to Dr Hansen, another aspect that students benefit from is the camaraderie. Students were expected to work together to prepare meals and maintain the campsite during the stay.
“It was cool getting to know each other,” England said.
“I don’t think I would have passed this last test if it was for the help I received from O’Ryan,” Boyd said.
Field studies course are costlier than classroom courses though. Another field studies class offered at SFCC, Field Botany, can only be offered every other year or so because of the costs associated with travel, according to the instructor Dr. Ruth Kirkpatrick.
“The department is under pressure to continue funding,” Dr. Hansen said. “Other universities charge a $100 fee and that would have seriously hurt our students because we know our students couldn’t afford to come up with that kind of money.” Currently, the price to go on the trip for students at SFCC is the cost for one credit and a small lab fee.
According to Dr. Hansen, the instructors all volunteer their time to help out though, and sometimes there is even a waiting list.  “Many students have never been to the seashore, have never been to the rainforest, it’s a great opportunity,” Dr. Hansen said.
“It was the coolest thing I’ve ever done by far,” Lister, said. The course will be offered again in the 2014-15 school year and is open to all students enrolled in the biology majors series, botany or zoology course for spring.

Students discover passions at community college

Caroline Rhoads
The Communicator

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On June 20th, students who have completed their program requirements will have the opportunity to graduate and move on to greater things. Still others will be sticking around to complete degrees, and figure out where they really want to go.
According to Jo Fyfe, a retired art instructor who does part time counseling at SFCC, community colleges are an excellent place for students to explore career options and start pursuing their passions.
One reason students might choose community college over a four-year to begin with is the costs. A full time student (12 credit) at SFCC pays about $1,163.16 for tuition per quarter compared to around $5,698 for a semester at WSU, according to the websites for each campus.
It can even be advantageous to stay an extra year to pick up degree requirements.
“I’m gonna stay and do my chem series,”  Meghin Salmon, a pre-med student who has the option to stay another year, or move on as a junior, said. “I’ll lose a couple credits here, but it’s worth it.”
Some students, like Sarah Brown, know exactly where they want to go next. “I’m getting my AA, but I’m planning on going into recreational therapy and then I will be transferring to Eastern,” Brown said.
“If you have a passion and you know what you want to do then go for it,” Fyfe said.
Doing job shadows can be a great way to be sure that you know what you’re getting into. Randee Matthews, an SFCC student who just finished job shadowing at KHQ said “it helped me see myself in that position, and to know that I really wanted to be a reporter.”
Others still aren’t sure where they are going. Getting a liberal arts degree offers a good chance for exploration. “I’m getting my AA because it gives me a lot of opportunities and it will buy me more time to figure out what I want to do,” SFCC student Hillary Cerda said.
Students who depend on financial aid should be aware, however, of new rules that may affect funding.
“They used to give you a little more chance to explore,” Fyfe said. Now, students can be put on a “too-many-credits hold” if they have completed more than 125% of the total number of credits needed for their declared degree, according to the SFCC website.

SFCC’s ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ brightens audience’s hearts with laughter

Mikayla Davis
The Communicator
Completing their “Backstage Season”, SFCC’s Spartan Theatre brings us the farce Moon Over Buffalo. Having watched some of the audition process, I knew that the play was going to be heavy in humor.
Walking into the theatre, that comical theme was obvious from the set. Fake legs with bright red heels were sticking out from a cabinet. Frilly dresses sat out on an ironing board and there were random theatre props placed around the stage.
The play was filled with slapstick and situational humor and the characters were energetic and rambunctious, as is characteristic of a farce. Despite the fun of the play, though, there was an underlying theme: trusting one another will end with better results than lying.
The first act of the play takes place in a greenroom of a theatre. However, the observable reality of the set makes it look more like a living room. There are multiple doors, chairs, and even stairs. Only the clear glass window (that looks out to a brick wall) and the fact that the walls are green, breaks the feel of a normal sitting room.
When we are introduced to the characters, we are introduced to them as a family and their friends, which does not help ground the audience in a theatrical atmosphere. It is only through the backstory explanations from the characters in the first act, that we understand that the stage is a Greenroom.
After the first act though, the story really began to come together. Sometimes it was a little hard to believe that the characters kept misplacing each other, since the audience only saw one entrance to the rooms, but the quick pace and the skill of the actors was enough to lure the audience into a willing sense of disbelief.
Brynna Soth, who played Charlotte Hay, the leading lady in the play, was definitely the star of the show. Her facial expressions matched her character’s emotions perfectly and brought out the more emotional moments of the play. Her character had one of the strongest influences on the other characters of the play as well, so eyes were always on her.
The banter between George Hay and Paul had the entire theatre laughing as well and poor stuttering Howard was often the target of audience chuckles.
Having seen the auditions, I think the production crew did a fantastic job casting their characters. The students were perfect in their roles and they really allowed the characters to shine.
Overall, the play was fantastic. There was plenty of laughter and the fast pace of the farce made it easy to forget I was in a theatre. I strongly encourage students to attend the play before it closes on June 8.

PACE Services breaks down Barriers for students with disabilities

Jeremy Logan
The Communicator

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For students with disabilities or barriers  to employment, PACE (People Accessing Careers and Education) is the place for integration. Ever wonder what the Log cabin across the street from the main campus is? Well that is PACE-SEER, a program developed by two women whose intent was only to help students with reading skills. Since its inception PACE has grown into much more than that.
As of this spring, PACE offers 31 different classes that range from sign language to leadership that cover the following: job skills, communication skills, life skills, computer work, sign language, and reading.
According to their literature, “PACE serves individuals through Spokane County Community Services/DDA (Developmental disabilities Administration), DVR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Spokane County Mental health programs and high schools, and individuals that do not have a funding source as well.”
Linda DeFord is the Assistant Dean for PACE services and has been with the program for 26 years. “PACE services is a non accredited  educational and employment program for folks that have significant challenges,” DeFord said. “We get students ready for employment.”
Employment is the main focus for PACE Services. Providing for adults with disabilities, the tools necessary to become productive members of society so they may be able to obtain and maintain employment.
“They are enhancing and learning skills because we believe in lifelong education, with the ultimate goal being employment,” DeFord said.
The students at PACE are not simply dumped off at a job and told to sink or swim. PACE also assists in job retention by providing regular on-site visits, phone calls to employers and participants, and performance evaluations.
“We focus everything we do around employment because with alot of our students finding employment is difficult,” Deford said. “We have employment specialists that help students find jobs in the community.”
“We really focus on employment readiness skills, but at the same time we want the students to have access to their communities. We want students to have a college experience,” DeFord said. “A lot of our students would never have that opportunity but they are given that opportunity through the community colleges of spokane.”
Here at SFCC, the students of PACE are given access to the game room, all the activities, and are encouraged to be participants in the Spokane Falls community.
Some students even go as far as to transitioning to credited classes with SCC.
“We do have a couple a year that will transition to the campuses of SCC, which doesn’t sound like a large amount but when you look at the caliber of students in our program,” DeFord said, “most of our students qualify for services  through developmental disabilities administration, so they have some sort of developmental disability. So for them to take credit classes on campus is huge.”
As part of their leadership skills class students come up with ideas to give back to the community through service work and fundraising for various charities.
“We have done fundraising for the guild school penny drive,” DeFord said. “We donated to Project Hope, a west central community. They train youth in growing gardens, business skills, and some job skills. So we partnered with them and some clubs at Spokane Falls to do this fundraiser.”
On June 5, PACE will be performing a talent show in the Student Union Building, where the students of PACE will get a chance to showcase their talents and take donations of nonperishable items for the Spokane Falls Food Bank.
“We believe in service learning and giving back to the community,” DeFord said. “We are grateful to Spokane Falls and what they do for our students so we are doing this as a service learning project.”
Then on June 17, at 1:30 in the Student Union Building, the students of PACE will be celebrating the end of the school year. Several students will talk about what PACE has done for them, what their life was like and what it is like now.
“Thats always fun. Students perform and talk about what they have learned at PACE Services,” DeFord said. “It’s a jam packed room, it is a lot of fun, and it’s open to everyone.”

Spokane parks enhance the local environment

Mikayla Davis
The Communicator

There’s more to parks than dog poop and children. They also hold a lot of culture for the neighborhoods they are in.
ArtFest, an annual event located in Browne’s Edition’s Coeur D’Alene Park, brings in over a hundred artists and vendors from around the Northwest.
The publicity that ArtFest creates in Spokane helps the renovations of Coeur D’Alene Park.
“People are nice,” said Conar Piermarini, co-owner of Oberini Glass, said. “I think people understand our art. It’s complimentary to their lifestyle.”
For years, he and his wife Ana Willow Obermayr have come to ArtFest from Portland, Oregon.
“Where else are you gonna go to enjoy the outside and enjoy culture,” Piermarini said. “It keeps people happy and motivated and looking forward to stuff. It’s like coming back to the same friends.”
“I come usually every year,” said Duncan Jackson, a student from Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC). “It’s great to support the arts and give artists a platform to support the crafts. It seemed like a really beautiful day for it.”
An organization called Friends of Coeur D’Alene Park has been trying to improve the park over the last couple of years.
“Our mission is to have the restoration of the park back to what it was like at the turn of the last century,” MaryLou Sproul, a local historian and a member of the Friends of Coeur D’Alene park and a retired English teacher from SFCC, said.  “We are stewards of the park and in that way, we are connected with ArtFest.”
This year, Friends of Coeur D’Alene Park set up a lemonade stand in front of Patsy Clark’s mansion, directly across from Artfest. They offered walking tours of Browne’s Edition and sold lemonade in order to make money for the park’s renovation.
“When we were here for the Mother’s Day tour, we raised almost $700 dollars,” Sproul said. “We worked with the parks department last year to do the restoration on the gazebo. We had a grant that we wrote for lots of money to upgrade the playground equipment and we hope to do something for the paths. We also have money for the comprehensive plan for the park.”
Other parks around Spokane are also renovating.
According to riverfrontparkmasterplan.org, the Parks & Recreation Department in Spokane began creating a master plan for Riverfront Park in 2012. This year they began Phase II where the Department hopes to finalize the strategies they created in Phase I. However, the growth and development for Riverfront Park is set to take place over the next 40 years.
The goals, according to the Master Plan, is to create a gathering place that is accessible, safe, and affordable.
Some of the top project ideas right now are to create a promenade to connect the north and south bank of the park. They also hope to recover the Pavilion tent structure and improve the lighting on it and to create a new home for the Looff Carrousel.
In a survey conducted by the Master Plan site, 61.8 percent of the people who took their survey hoped that the scenic river views would be enhanced by the renovations.
Another park updated recently was Huntington Park, also in downtown Spokane. This park, paid for by Avista Corp. offers citizens “interpretive displays” that will feature artifacts of Washington Water Power.
According to spokanecity.org, Avista is committed to continuing “the environmental stewardship and beautification of areas along the Spokane River.” The renovation of Huntington Park “will open up the great views of the Spokane River, foster connectivity between Riverfront Park and Huntington Park, and provide more park amenities.”
“I love that the city is paying more attention to the environment and encouraging students and other people to spend more time outside,” Kara Nelson, an alumni of SFCC said.
By holding events such as ArtFest and other park-based events, Spokane is able to attract more people to better improve the city’s economy.

Competing with the club community

Mikayla Davis
The Communicator

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 10.39.42 PMTwo weeks ago, students met on the battlefield to compete, club against club.  Well, they met on the field in front of the library, anyways, for SFCC’s annual Spring Fling event.
“Spring Fling is an annual week full of events for SFCC students,” Lucy Tapia, student Activities Vice President, said. “All the events are free for students to come and enjoy while socializing with other students.”
2014’s Spring Fling had an obstacle course, Harry Potter trivia, badminton, and a relay race.
This event also invites local musicians to perform.
“I liked the variety,” David Brown, a student at SFCC said. “I was impressed the school spent money on something cool.”
With over eight thousand students, it can be difficult to create a sense of community, but with all the clubs available at SFCC, students are sure to find a place to socialize.
“Clubs are important because they give you a sense of community at the school, making a large campus seem not so intimidating,” said Bella York, a member of The Wire Harp club.
“I want to get involved and meet people, even though I’m on the shy side,” said Sharon Goff, another member of The Wire Harp. “It feels good to be involved.”
“We have about 52 clubs active at SFCC right now,” said Tapia. “They all fall into different categories that fulfills students interests. If students want to start a new club, the Student Government will gladly help them start a new one.”
The clubs at SFCC offer a multitude of opportunities for students as well.
“With Engineering club, it makes our interest bigger and it let’s us get experience,” said John Jozwiak. “It helps us for the future, for colleges.”
The Engineering club takes part in competitions like the Radio-Controlled Baja Car Contest where students build their own radio-controlled vehicles and race them against teams from other schools.
The Anime Club took a trip to Seattle in April for a convention where they were able to meet various voice actors and artists.
On June 7, the Anime Club is sponsoring a cosplay fashion show and dance at SFCC to show
The Journalism Club went to New York for a national college media convention.
“We were in New York City, like a block from Times Square,”  Randee _____, a journalism student, said.
Clubs also allow the students to get more involved in the community.
“Clubs create a good sense of community and stronger social connections,” Robert Hemphill, a faculty member at the Service Learning Office said.
“The clubs have to do some community service,” Joe Bridge, a SFCC student, said.
Sasquatch Service Day, hosted by the Service Learning Club, invites students to help out in the community. This year they volunteered with Project Hope, an urban gardening program for youths; and West Central Episcopal Mission, which provides meals and other social services to their neighborhood.
“Clubs are very important,” Tapia said. Studies have shown that students who are involved outside of the classroom are more prone to complete their studies.”
Last Wednesday, the results of the Spring Fling events were revealed at an Awards Ceremony for the students.
“The purpose of the award banquet is to bring all active clubs together and celebrate their members and advisors and all the accomplishments throughout the year,” said Tapia.
The Club of the Year award went to The Wire Harp. The advisors of The Wire Harp also won I.R.P. Club Adviser(s) of the Year.
“It meant a lot to me knowing that I could successfully work with a group in accomplishing something like that,” Jeremia Wilks-McGinnis, a Wire Harp member who competed in Spring Fling, said.
For students interested in joining a club, a list of the clubs and their advisers can be found at the back of the Activities Calendar published each quarter.

Jeremy Logan
The Communicator

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Summer quarter, for some of us this is a cryptic phrase. Those of us who walk into it in ignorance may come out of it with the disposition of a troop returning from a P.O.W. camp, lingering effects of P.T.S.D. in tow.  If you are not properly equipped and your expectations have not been properly set, you may walk into the same type of scenario that I did.
Summer quarter looks a lot different from your regularly scheduled programing, and there are a few things that students should know to prepare themselves.
“Summer school is moving at twice the pace of our regular quarter, 7 weeks instead of 12 to cover the same content. Don’t even consider taking more than two 5-credit classes,” Larry Massey, an intercultural communications instructor at Spokane Falls, said. “Read the syllabus and class schedule carefully; due dates typically approach twice as quickly as they do in Fall, Winter and Spring quarters.”
I spent nearly all my waking hours doing homework, sometimes waking up at 4:00 am to get my assignments finished before class. During this time my relationship, rest, and overall mental health went fully neglected. Walks on the beach, writing music, and evening recreation were things of the past. There was just me, the strangers who tried to bum cigarettes from me on public transit, instructors’ grim faces, and the blue filtered light from my laptop glowing across my anxiety ridden face.
See what I didn’t know, and you probably should if you are silly enough to put yourself through such an expedition as, “summer quarter,” is that 8 to 10 credits are the maximum that you should put yourself through.  Anything more, and you should probably have your head examined.
You will also want to make sure that you attend your classes regularly, and stay up with your homework. Missing one day can set you back two, and catch up can feel nearly unachievable.
“Keep up with the assignments, at twice the pace, falling behind by even a day can quickly spiral out of control,” said Massey, and “avoid missing days, you are actually missing two classes, not one.
Also, If you are like me and choose to survive on subsidized loans and financial aid while attending school, there are a few more things you might want to know before you take the plunge into summer quarter. The main thing is you will probably still have to take a summer job.
Going into summer quarter, I found out upon receiving my financial aid refund that I would not be getting the student need grant even though I was taking the same amount of credits I would have taken during a regular quarter.
Another surprise came in the spring when I found out that I would not receive my Pell Grant. The thing that is important to know and understand is that there is an allotted amount of money that you can receive from financial aid in any given school year. This does not change just because you decide to go to school year round.
In order for you to survive the school year they adjust your funding and give you the Pell Grant in the summer and the Student Need Grant in the spring. If you are not prepared for this, it can be a financial disaster, as it has been for me.
This year I have decided to toss out summer quarter and found myself a nice painting job to keep me in a decent financial standing coming into the fall quarter. ‘Less stress, more success,’ has been my experience.
With all of this in mind, if you still decide to proceed with summer quarter due to being some kind of masochistic ambitionist, I recommend that you prepare yourself. Don’t take more than 8 credits, and if you are on financial aid, get yourself a summer job, and be prepared to find one in the spring as well.

Pros of legalizing recreational pot

Desirae Knight

Attributed

dgonecedit

There are many factors pertaining to the legalization of marijuana, both good and bad, however the good outweighs the bad and legalizing marijuana in the state of Washington has opened up many new debates on the issue.

Marijuana is environmentally friendly and is a natural plant with many uses to offer the state that would have otherwise been denied by prohibition. Paper, milk, clothing, and plastics are some of the highest on the list, but there are many other uses for it. Not only byproducts are useful though, as the plant is high in nutrients and feeds the soil, as well as the fact that it grows more quickly than most crops, so the cost of production and the yield is far more favorable to some common alternatives.

Another large issue is the amount of resources that are being spent to stop the use of marijuana, such as police time, money, court costs, over-crowding jail houses and an infinite list of other costs to our cities and state. Having eliminated prohibition within Washington has allowed us to divert those valuable resources to more important matters and crimes.

Also, because the demand for marijuana is so high, prohibition only succeeds in allowing producers to charge high prices for low quality product, if not completely cheating a customer by lacing it with sawdust or other plant material to sell a larger quantity. With legalization, the state can work towards refining policies and insuring steady prices and product quality with legitimate producers.

Students learn Asian Pacific history through traditional dance

Caroline Rhoads

The Communicator

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“Keep your eyes on her hands,” that’s the name of the last song that Mary Ann Souza, a hula dancer from hawaii, danced to on Wednesday, May 14, during a celebration of Hawaiian culture put on by the Far East Coast Club and the Service Learning Club (SLC).

Although they may not be the first thing that catches the eye as she’s glides across the stage, it’s the eyes (and feet) that tell the story.

For the ancient Hawaiians, “history wasn’t written,” Souza said, “so it was expressed through dance.” The first dance she did told the story of Queen Kapi’olani’s visit to the island, and the islanders she saw working the land. Souza slows down the swoop and turn of her hand to show how it is meant to portray the picking of a flower.

“It is symbolic of things they observed on the island,” Souza said, as she demonstrated to the audience a special bounce of the foot which was meant to portray water as it drops into a puddle and splashes back into the air.

The event also showcased what the SLC did on their trip to Hawaii over spring break. According to the advisor for SLC, Darlene Rickett, students attended a service conference which offered a variety of different topics for participants to choose from and a service project to help the local community.

“My favorite part was playing with the kids,” Keisha Brokaw, an SFCC student who went on the trip, said. Part of their service project was to help tutor at the learning center and build a traditional hawaiian house to preserve local culture.

According to Dawa Jigmed, another student who attended the trip, he also enjoyed helping the children and added that they were very poor. Many of them had no house, and some just slept under a roof with no walls. “I Learned a lot about the cultural values and history,” Jigmed said.

“It’s more than just a beautiful place to go,” Rickett said, “there’s the history, the issues.” Hidden behind the attraction and the beauty are deeper issues of poverty and discrimination, especially against the micronesian immigrants.

According to the Japanese American Citizen’s league, the discrimination can be seen as far back as World War II when the United States used the Marshall Islands to test nuclear weapons and set off “the equivalent of 7,000 Hiroshima sized bombs in the Marshall islands.” The islands were covered in radioactive ash and the people living there developed severe health problems.

In 1983, the U.S. entered into the Compact of Free Association with the marshall islands, promising them the right to rule themselves; although the US retains “exclusive military control,” according to Hawai’i Medical Journal, and economic aid, as well as citizenship rights to immigrants.