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Center for Leadership & Community Engagement

Immersion: Citizens Take Action

Through Rollins Immersion participants are taken outside the Rollins community borders and immersed in activities and projects based on need-areas identified by community agencies and Rollins. Trained faculty, staff and student site leaders provide direction and support for participants during their weekend journey of education, reflection and action.

Vision and Mission

Mission Rooted in the academic mission of Rollins to educate students for global citizenship and responsible leadership, Rollins Immersion is the commitment to engage students, faculty, and staff in communities in Florida and beyond through weekends (and sometimes week-long) experiences of education, reflection, and action.   

Vision Through direct community engagement, leadership development, multicultural education, discussion and pre/reflection activities students will be immersed in the big challenges and questions that face communities in the 21st Century.

How can I get involved with Immersions?

There are a few different ways! You can participate in an Immersion by checking out the dates and topics in the section below and applying through the online portal. Once you have participated in an Immersion, you can apply to facilitate one yourself! The application for facilitators will be sent out through in early September and again in mid-March, so keep an eye out! The program recruits for new facilitators one semester before the experience. You can always reach out to with any questions about the program!

Why is there an application process?

Often, we have many students who apply to attend one Immersion and we want to make sure we have a well-rounded, diverse team of participants! We take into account things like your year and major, along with your previous Immersion experience and answers to a few short-answer questions. We preference those who have not attended an Immersion before, to give more people opportunities! The answers to the essay questions don’t have to be long, but take some time to think about them and give thoughtful responses. Questions about the selection process can be directed to

What can I expect from an Immersion?

As many Rollins students will tell you, Immersions are terrific opportunities to meet your fellow Rollins students, learn about an impact area to serve with a new community, and bring your passions to life. As one participant said, “This was a once in a lifetime experience!”

Weekend Immersions are offered to Rollins community members free of cost and include transportation, lodging, and meals. Here’s what you can expect on a typical weekend Immersion:

  • Before departing campus, meet with the facilitators (two students and a faculty/staff member) and your twelve fellow participants to get to know one another and learn about the community, social issue, and nonprofit partners with whom you will be engaging
  • Leave campus around 5:00 PM on a 15 passenger bus driven by a trained Rollins community member
  • Stay in community housing accommodations, paid for by the Immersion program*
  • Eat meals together with the full team – all meals are provided by the Immersion program!
  • Serve with nonprofit organizations for 6-10 hours throughout the weekend
  • Experience the community through cultural activities
  • Reflect on your experiences with the facilitators and participants
  • Return to campus by 7:00 PM on Sunday

All Immersion experiences are drug and alcohol free, for the safety and inclusion of all and to respect the communities we enter.

* Specific housing accommodations will be disclosed as part of the application process. Participants are expected to stay in the housing provided and may be asked to share queen/king size beds. Romantic partners will be asked to sleep in different beds/rooms.

What are Alternative Spring Breaks?

Alternative Spring Breaks are similar to weekend Immersions, but much more intense! Groups typically travel further from Rollins, either by plane or by car, and stay in the community for 5-8 days. Participants are immersed in the new community, which includes:

  • Attending 3-4 pre-departure meetings with your team of three facilitators and twelve participants, learning about one another, the social issue you will be addressing, and the community you will be entering, as well as preparing for departure
  • Intense community service, which sometimes includes early mornings or long days
  • Group exploration of the unique community offerings, such as museums, monuments, parks, neighborhoods, or community centers
  • Nightly reflections on service, empathy, social justice, and community-centered change
  • A commitment to refraining from the use of drugs or alcohol throughout the entire experience
  • Cooking/preparing meals in small teams, taking into account your fellow participant needs
  • Staying together in community-based housing, which could include churches, YMCAs, bunkhouses, rental homes, or camping*
  • A commitment to bringing an open mind, maintaining a positive attitude, and asking for support when needed

* Specific housing accommodations will be disclosed as part of the application process. Participants are expected to stay in the housing provided and may be asked to share queen/king size beds. Romantic partners will be asked to sleep in different beds/rooms.

Upcoming Opportunities

Immersion Open Via Application Process: These Immersions are open to anyone on campus, including faculty, staff, and students in Holt, Crummer, and the College of Liberal Arts. Deadlines and application links are below. **Note: not all Immersions are fully planned, but full information will be available in the application link as the experience approaches 

  • Fighting Hunger and Homelessness Immersion
    • Dates: February 13th
    • Facilitators: Julie Bennie, Sophia Allred, and Aja Williams
    • Description: The Fighting Hunger and Homelessness Immersion, a one-day, in-person service learning experience examining the causes of food insecurity and homelessness in the Central Florida area and the United States while also exploring possible solutions to these pressing issues.
  • .123..Educate Me Immersion
    • Date: February 20th
    • Facilitators: Jessica Gonzalez, Dalal Kabbani, and Meredith Hein
    • Description: This February Immersion, a one-day in-person service, will focus on the inequities within education (Pre K-12) in Central Florida and beyond. 
  • BSU Immersion
    • Dates: February 20th or 21st (TBD)
    • Facilitators: Teasa Mays, Robert Whetstone, Akeem Mitchell
    • Open only to students in the BSU organization
  • March Weekend Immersion 1
    • Date: March 14th, In-Person
    • Facilitators: Nia Knox, Anecia Inbornone, and Edye NcNickle
    • Impact Area: Health Care
  • March Weekend Immersion 2
    • Date: March 20th, Virtual
    • Facilitators: Margaret Stewart, Sofia Francisco, and Evelyn Villarreal
    • Impact Area: Women’s Rights
  • EMBARK Immersion (April 17th-18th)
    • Dates: April 17th-18th, mixed modality
    • Facilitator: Sam Vega, Dani Golob, Jaheim Morris
    • Impact Area: Food Insecurity
    • Open only to students in the Embark Program
  • April Immersion
    • Date: April 10th, In-Person
    • Facilitators: McKinnon Bell and Callie Dochterman


Immersion Planning Team 2020-2021

Immersion Planning Team 2020-2021

  • Meredith Hein, Advisor 
  • Aja Williams, Co-Advisor
  • Pilar Macias, Logistics Coordinator 
  • Jazlynn Breton, Logistics Coordinator 
  • Sofia Francisco, Logistics Coordinator 
  • Carley Mathews, Team Coordinator 
  • Logo Olagoke, Team Coordinator 
  • Yoke Tassent, Team Coordinator 
  • Nicole Ponce, Team Coordinator