While many students spent their spring break hitting the slopes or relaxing on the beach, a group of students from The University of Oklahoma College of Law went to Gulu, Uganda to help law students in the third world country.
Law Students for Africa members Ally Simon, Luke Miles and Alexa Kern worked closely with the University of Gulu School of Law in Uganda and its students to create a collaborative program to build the law school. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor Michael Scaperlanda accompanied the OU Law students. Dean Scaperlanda was able to lend his years of experience and knowledge of the U.S. Legal System and law school administration to assist the Gulu Law School. The group also got to spend time volunteering at Saint Monica’s Daycare.
This trip had a profound impact on 3rd year law student Ally Simon. “Several years after the war ended, the people of Uganda are still deeply affected. However, they are so kind and generous even though they don’t have much to give.”
OU Law alumnus Reggie Whitten was instrumental in getting this alternative spring break trip started. He is the co-founder of Pros for Africa in Oklahoma City, a non-profit organization that brings together professionals from all fields to volunteer in Africa and more specifically, Uganda. He has worked with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe and her school, Saint Monica’s Vocational School for years. In 2011, Pros for Africa made a $100,000 donation to OU Law to benefit the international programs. As part of this program, several OU Law students traveled to Gulu, Uganda with Pros for Africa to work with Sister Rosemary and they have continued to do so for four years.
One of the cornerstones of the legal profession is service, not only at home but around the world. Starting on the students first day, OU Law emphasizes the impact their career will have on both individuals and society. Service is both an honor and an obligation that comes with being a lawyer. Providing students the opportunity to participate in alternative Spring Break trips such as these allows our students to serve not only locally but globally. Traveling to a third world country to volunteer over Spring Break presents OU Law students with an extraordinary opportunity to gain global perspective, to increase understanding of the Rule of Law, to have a deeper appreciation of the students ability to use their degree to help others, and to have an enhanced understanding of the human condition.
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