The Honors Program at Temple University is dedicated to providing students with enriching academic and developmental opportunities necessary to grow into capable and successful individuals. In tandem with this part of our mission, the Honors Program actively enhances the student experience with a multitude of diverse and transformative learning opportunities through service and cultural immersion. Through these unique excursions, students can engage and learn in an environment that integrates meaningful community service with thoughtful reflection, teaches civic responsibility, and strengthens communities.
Temple Honors Appalachia
Created in 2008, this service program encourages students to engage in volunteer work throughout Philadelphia over the course of the academic year. The program culminates in a week-long excursion that immerses students in the life, beauty, and struggles of the Appalachian region with the aim of enriching the lives of the students and the communities they serve. At each site, teams of students build homes, assist with community projects, and explore the local environment while building community and taking time to reflect. Students return with a better sense of themselves, the world around them, and energized to contribute locally.
Goals of Honors Appalachia
By participating, students will:
- Cultivate their social, psychological, and interpersonal development through service-learning and immersion
- Develop cross-cultural understanding by exploring similarities and differences in race, class, and environment
- Work collaboratively with diverse populations
- Gain increased motivation for active civic-engagement
- Use increased knowledge of myths and stereotypes to be agents of change in their daily lives
The Appalachian Mountains, specifically southeastern Kentucky and West Virginia, have held a long history of economic struggle. Today nearly fifty-four percent of the households live in poverty. In Central Appalachia alone:
- 8,500 homes lack adequate kitchens
- 9,000 homes lack complete plumbing
- Nearly half of the families have household incomes below $20,000
- One in four lives below the poverty level--more than 50,000 children, 90,000 adults, & 15,000 elderly (From Appalachian Service Project Online: http://www.asphome.org/)