Trevecca Nazarene University

Community development major using his learning

When a group of Trevecca students organized a trip to Florida to help with hurricane relief, Michael Rhodes saw the fulfillment of one of his dreams. As the one who originally presented the idea to campus leaders, Rhodes was acting on two very strong motivations in his life--his personal desire to help others and the things that he had been learning in the his classes in community development.

One of the newest fields of study at Trevecca, the community development major brings together two different academic disciplines--business and social work. As a student in this new program, Rhodes is very attune to opportunities for service to communities. His interest in helping the victims of the recent hurricanes in Florida is a natural response to what he has been learning in the classroom.

He explains, "This project is just what I want to do with the rest of my life--work in disaster relief. I want to help people help others--my chance to put into practice what I'm learning." He notes that he has learned three important lessons through performing acts of service:  1) "Blessed are the flexible for they shall bend and not break" (Anonymous); 2)
Complete stranger can become the dearest friends: 3) The Lord is able to do more than one can ever imagine if one will be obedient."

Rhodes was in the first group of students who began the fall break tradition of helping in disaster situations, a tradition that started in  October 2001, when students went to New York City to help following 9/11. Rhodes hopes that someday his degree will enable him to return to his hometown and help develop his own community .