On the Senior Journey to New Orleans, students investigate what makes service travel different from tourism, and see this incredible place through the eyes of the people who live there.
More than a decade after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans teaches us about how people can band together to rebuild in the face of intense obstacles. Ordinary individuals stepped up to advocate for their communities. Thousands of volunteers felt motivated to travel to New Orleans from around the country to support recovery efforts. The Senior Journey asks students to grapple with the question of how to have an authentic travel experience while recognizing the struggles and strengths of the local community.
As high school graduation approaches, students are poised to travel to new places and integrate into different communities. Over the course of this journey, seniors explore such questions as, how do communities come together to deal with hardship? Who is in my “universe of obligation” -- that is, the circle of individuals and groups I feel responsible towards?
During the trip, students complete hands-on service projects, meet with community organizers, connect with teen activists in Baton Rouge who are still reeling from the 2016 flooding that caused more than $8.7 billion in damage, and explore one of the most culturally rich cities in the country. Seniors also conduct oral history interviews at the Ashe Cultural Center with “culture-bearers”--community leaders who transmit New Orleans’ unique traditions to the next generation.
The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.