Friday November 3, 2017

The University of Dayton Summer Appalachia Program: UDSAP

By Taylor Tovey, UDSAP '17, Class of '19

Home. There will always be something special about home. In the weeks of the University of Dayton Summer Appalachian program – UDSAP- the small town of Salyersville, Kentucky became another home. Spending 9 weeks in Kentucky, 15 UD students each summer live, learn, and serve with the Salyersville community. UDSAP-ers spend their days running day camp and teen scene, at the nursing home, and making home visits. More than that UDSAP-ers form relationships with the community. Amazingly each summer new faces come but the trust remains.

Waking up to the sounds of birds chirping, followed quickly by a pillow in the face and news of coffee became a sign that today was going to be a good day. Each night sleeping on the porch, I thanked God for the stars which shone through the treetops while going through the trials and joys of the day. UDSAP led me to understand that despite the circumstances we live in, joy and love will win. They are in countless games of jump rope, walking through a puddle because the five year old on your shoulders tells you to, sweaty hugs that make it hard to breathe, in lengthy conversations about life. Loves comes through a quiet porch in the afternoon, tea after the teens have gone home for the night, shared community meals and a cold Ale8.

Driving down the twisty, turning roads, windows roll down, music turns up and content hits my
heart because like so many others God has led me home.

Want to learn more about UDSAP and how to apply? Info Nights are Monday Nov. 13 &
Thursday Nov. 16 @ 5pm in Liberty Hall 08.

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