Muslim Students’ Association – Barger Leadership Institute

Muslim Students’ Association

By Sadia Rahman

As members of the Muslim Students’ Association at the University of Michigan, our
commitment to serving the community extends beyond our campus borders. This year, our
group embarked on a transformative service trip to Louisville, Kentucky, as part of the Michigan
Active Citizens: Alternative Spring Break (MAC-ASB) program. From February 25th to March
3rd, we immersed ourselves in service learning, engaging with Junior Achievement to empower
local students with essential skills for their future. However, our trip was not just about service; it
was a holistic experience of exploration, learning, and bonding.

Our primary focus during the trip was working alongside Junior Achievement to facilitate
lessons on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work-readiness for students in Louisville.
Crafting lesson plans and engaging with the students allowed us to witness firsthand the impact
of education on shaping young minds and preparing them for the challenges ahead.Working
alongside Junior Achievement was a deeply fulfilling experience for our team. As we interacted
with the students, we felt a profound sense of purpose knowing that we were making a tangible
difference in their lives. Witnessing their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn was incredibly
rewarding, and it reaffirmed our belief in the power of education to create positive change. Each
lesson taught and every connection made left a lasting impact on us, fueling our passion for
service and community engagement.

Beyond our service commitments, we delved into the rich cultural fabric of Louisville. For
those among us who are passionate about boxing, seeing the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali
was nothing short of awe-inspiring. As we explored the museum, we were moved by Ali’s
unwavering commitment to social justice and his fearless pursuit of greatness. Seeing the life
and legacy of the legendary Muhammad Ali, who remains an icon of resilience and social
justice, was profoundly inspiring. Praying at the mosque where Ali once worshipped added a
spiritual dimension to our journey, deepening our connection to his enduring legacy and
reinforcing the importance of faith and community in our own lives.

Our exploration extended underground as we embarked on a fascinating journey
through the Louisville Mega Cavern. Learning about the city’s business history and the intriguing
story of the abandoned zoo plans added depth to our understanding of Louisville’s unique
character. A really cool fact that we learned was that Louisville was supposed to have a zoo on
top or next to these caverns but the dynamite was going to scare the animals and the visitors.
So, the government of louisville made some zoning laws to keep the zoo and its funding and
stop the excavation of the cavern under the zoo. The cavern excursion was not only educational
but also a thrilling adventure that brought our group closer together.

Amidst our service work and explorations, we found time for some lighthearted bonding
activities. The escape room challenge tested our teamwork and problem-solving skills, resulting
in a memorable experience of collaboration and triumph. Working together to solve puzzles and
unravel mysteries, we felt a sense of unity and purpose that transcended our individual
differences. It was a fitting conclusion to a week filled with growth, learning, and camaraderie.
This experience really brought us together as a team and solidified our friendship. We began as
strangers doing this volunteer service for the sake of our religion and community, however,
throughout the week, every activity we did together made us into friends.

Our volunteer service trip to Kentucky was more than just a week-long adventure; it was a transformative journey of growth, learning, and connection. From our meaningful engagement with Junior Achievement to our exploration of cultural landmarks and shared adventures, every experience deepened our appreciation for service and community. As we return to campus, we carry with us the lessons learned and the memories made, inspired to continue making a positive impact in our local and global communities.

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