Prepare Whitworth Students to Be Global Citizens
As a digital communications intern for World Relief, Andrew Goodwin, '17, connected the Spokane community with the nonprofit, which resettles up to 600 refugees each year who are escaping violence and persecution. Goodwin learned a lot about using online media to educate others and to recruit volunteers. But he learned more about the power of the gospel.
"Refugees have taught me so much about service, because their service is wonderfully pure," he says. "They don't serve so they can get something, they serve because they've already received a gift. All they want is to give back. Refugees are a beautiful example of responding to God's grace."
After Goodwin completed his internship through the Office of Church Engagement's Summer Fellowship Program, World Relief hired him as a part-time digital communications assistant. He earned a communication degree in May and is now enrolled in the university's social and behavioral health master's program.
Whitworth and World Relief have a long-standing partnership that has included engaging with local churches to support refugees, and having students participate in the nonprofit's Refugee Simulation Program.
Whitworth, World Relief and Gonzaga University this year held a Rally with Refugees, with more than 1,500 people gathering to voice their advocacy for immigrants and refugees. About 25 Whitworth students volunteered at the event, and more than 100 students attended.
Generations of students have also interned at World Relief. The experience is deeply transformational, according to Director Mark Finney, a 2003 Whitworth alumnus.
"World Relief provides hands-on experience to contextualize a 'mind and heart' education," he says. "When you develop real relationships with folks in poverty who have overcome tremendous obstacles such as genocide or persecution, it changes how you see the world and how you see yourself."