Stevens Students take “Urban Plunge”

Students from Stevens in Hoboken travel to Des Moines, Iowa

Last week, eight students from Stevens Institute of Technology drove all the way to Des Moines, Iowa to do an “Urban Plunge.”

On this mission trip, they spent the weekend in the inner-city visiting nine different faith-based organizations that are working among the poor.

They visited with homeless individuals on the streets late at night; served at a food pantry; went to jail; handed out clothes; and most importantly discussed how to use their passion and gifts in service to help in their hometown back in New Jersey.

Urban Plunge’s vision is to provide an opportunity for groups to leave the comfort of the suburbs and the safety of the small town to enter the inner-city where they discover how they can come alongside an existing social entrepreneur to help meet the needs of the poor, homeless and destitute. Their objective is not to provide a “tour of poverty,” but to help participants grasp how they can use their talents and passions to assist a social-service agency, or even start something similar in their own neighborhood.

Stevens students take urban plunge in Des Moines Iowa - Stevens Students take "Urban Plunge"

Pictured above are Larry Huancy (22), Samuel Thomas (20), Eden Jacob (19), Carlo Pardo (22), Josua Nelson (20), Daniel McMillon (24), Paul De La Costa (21), and Jenny Jean (22).

Student Jenny Jean was inspired: “This weekend made me braver to approach others. I always had a strong desire to help others. This weekend only made me more bold to approach and help people.” And

“The Urban Plunge made me grateful,” said Paul De La Costa, “I became more appreciative, and made me want to do more. Seeing how the homeless really live and how needy they are, even with the little they have, they are happy. At times I’m so ungrateful when I am so blessed. They make me want to help more and be happy with what I have.”

All the students that attended had what they called “eye opening experiences,” like Eden Jacob who said “I’ve never experienced or witnessed people actually camping out in tents as their home – crazy things that you only hear about.”

Lastly, Samuel Thomas suggested that “narrow minded” people would be ideal candidates for a trip like this, saying “I would encourage them to go on the Urban Plunge. It is definitely a vision trip rather than a mission trip.”

Good work, guys!

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