Eight graduate students from the Clinical Counseling and Marriage & Family Program at Hardin-Simmons University recently returned from a travel course titled Counseling Diverse Populations. This course was designed as a mission trip where the students traveled to New York and Ireland to study the diverse culture and work with RIOT Ministries counseling underprivileged youth.

Beginning in New York, the class visited Little Italy, Chinatown, and a Messianic Jewish church to witness the different cultural experiences talking with others, trying new foods, and observing the different customs.

“During the course, I had the opportunity to discover and learn more about the different cultures; to put what you read from books into action!” said Tillie McGuire. “The adventure was a lifetime experience and full of memories that were formed.”

McGuire said she also experienced personal and professional growth during the trip. Immediately following New York, the students traveled to Northern Ireland where they teamed up with RIOT Ministries and worked with underprivileged and high-risk youth.

RIOT is a non-profit charity created to make the community of Northern Ireland a safe space for kids of all ages. This is done through weekly activities at the RIOT House as well as group retreats, and through the efforts of mission teams, backpackers, and tourists. All proceeds fund the Youth Center and its youth programs.

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