Jenna Griffith

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Waynesburg University

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
International Experience Summary:

Over the course of six weeks, Jenna Griffith dedicated her time as an intern at the local hospital in San Ignacio, Belize, through the organization ProWorld. During her trip, she lived with a host family with whom she formed close relationships. The combination of a great internship and host family allowed her to immerse herself in the Belizean culture. She not only learned how to cook traditional Belizean meals with her host mother, but she also played games with the neighborhood children and learned about Belize from her host father. At the hospital, she was able to gain new clinical experiences while learning about Belizean society. She administered medicine, performed assessments, gave stitches, and established relationships with local patients. Due to the relaxed environment of Belizean culture, Jenna often initiated conversations about Belizean and American culture with nurses and patients when the hospital was not busy. In the evenings, Jenna took walks with neighborhood children to local ice cream shops. She also spent time exploring the country including a visit to Actun Tunichil Muknal. Also known as the Cave of the Crystal Sepluchre, this Belizean natural wonder represented the underworld to the Mayans. Other trips included an excursion to Guatamala and the small limestone coral island, Caye Caulker. In short, Belize left a wonderful impact on Jenna and she in return left a positive mark as well.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Get Connected

Jenna helped create Get Connected, an event that introduced Waynesburg faculty, staff, and students to customs and cultures from around the world.  Jenna and her team partnered with several organizations such as the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Narimon Jewelry, International Justice Mission and Ten Thousand Villages to offer students insight into the similarities between global and domestic issues. Her team also invited a steel drum trio to perform Caribbean music, Muslim women from Pittsburgh to discuss Islam, and South Korean students to assist in Korean name art.