UAPB students engage in community service during summer visit to Guyana

Will Hehemann School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

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From left: Chelsea Robinson, a senior regulatory science major, Ashlyn Carlton, a sophomore animal science major, residents Jamal Adrian and Stefan Holmes, and Grace Daniels, administrator of the St. John Bosco Orphanage, pose in front of the orphanage’s hydroponic garden.

Two University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff students who spent much of the summer learning agriculture practices in the country of Guyana, also took time to participate in community service activities during their time abroad. Chelsea Robinson, a senior regulatory science major, and Ashlyn Carlton, a sophomore animal science major, engaged with local youth at a Guyanese boys orphanage and children’s summer camp.

At the St. John Bosco Orphanage in Plaisance, East Bank Demerara, the students met the residents and learned about their efforts in community gardening. The boys took Robinson and Carlton on a tour of the shadehouse they use to produce vegetables using hydroponics, a method of growing plants in nutrient-rich water, without soil.

“During our visit with the boys at the orphanage, it was apparent how smart they are and how much they pride they take in their hands-on work,” Carlton said. “They were able to relate their activities in the garden with agricultural science concepts they are learning in school.”

At the end of the visit, the UAPB students made a donation to the administrator at the orphanage to help fund school supplies for the upcoming semester. They also presented two students, Stefan Holmes and Jamal Adrian, with tokens of appreciation for the effort they put into their work with the hydroponic garden.

Later, Robinson and Carlton interacted with children between 6 and 14 years old at a summer camp hosted by the Caribbean Youth Environment Network, a non-profit charitable organization that focuses on empowering young people and their communities to develop programs to address socio-economic and environmental issues. At the camp, they taught the children about caring for the environment through engaging activities.

“The children were full of energy, ready to learn and very respectful,” Robinson said.

Following their community service activities, the students visited Yvonne Francis, the grandmother of Shemar Francis, a sophomore agricultural business major at UAPB and native of Guyana.

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