Haverford College students volunteer as friends, and some work as interns at High Rocks Academy in Hillsboro, West Virginia, a free, nonprofit summer camp that supports young girls in Appalachia, which is pleased to have their friendship.

I headed to Hillsboro from Morgantown on a beautiful October day to photograph the students lending a helping hand. Painting and renovating a house that will be a temporary home in the near future for young people such as the Haverford volunteers, was the mission of the week.

Working together has always been a great way to get to know each other, and on Thursday the 19th many stories were shared. And with Haverford students coming to Hillsboro from places and countries as diverse as Uganda, Puerto Rico, Columbia and others, those stories held the attention of listeners.

“Haverford College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Haverford, Pennsylvania – a suburb of Philadelphia. All students of the College are undergraduates, and nearly all reside on campus,” according to Wikipedia.

“The college was founded in 1833 by area members of the Orthodox Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) to ensure an education grounded in Quaker values for young Quaker men. Although the college no longer has a formal religious affiliation, Quaker philosophy still influences campus life.”

“Originally an all-male institution, Haverford began admitting female transfer students in the 1970s and became fully co-educational in 1980. Currently, more than half of Haverford’s students are women. For most of the 20th century, Haverford’s total enrollment was kept below 300, but the school went through two periods of expansion during and after the 1970s, and its current enrollment is 1,290 students.”

It was a good day on this good earth, and how appropriate that Pearl S. Buck, the author of the classic novel, The Good Earth, was born just down the road.

As lunchtime arrived, Valentina, one of the students was presented with two apple pies, which Liz, a High Rocks staffer, had baked the night before. The pies were divvied up and enjoyed after all those present sang Valentina an a cappella version of happy birthday.

Thanks to the student volunteers of Haverford College, a house in Hillsboro will celebrate another birthday someday soon — looking and feeling much more like a home where good hearts will come together on a regular basis.

markashephard.com

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