Presbyterian College students and faculty serve in Kenya

Presbyterian College students and faculty serve in Kenya


Jessica Davis, a 2016 graduate of Presbyterian College and the Outstanding Senior in education, is currently serving in Kenya for an eight-week extended internship.

She spent four weeks living in Kikuyu and working at the Comet House, an orphanage for boys that is run with support from the Presbyterian Outreach Foundation. While in Kikuyu, Davis played and read with the boys and helped to set up educational apps on tablets that were donated.

She also visited the Beloved Daughters Home for Girls, a home for girls aged 7-15 who have suffered female genital mutilation and early forced marriage. PC adopted this organization in 2012, pledging to continue sending groups to Kenya at least every other year to build another dormitory until the home can care for the capacity of 300 girls.

“It was so good to see how the Beloved Daughters have grown physically and spiritually,” said Davis of her visit to the girls’ home. “I am always amazed by their maturity, strength, and faithfulness.”

Davis is currently spending four weeks in Juja, a village outside Nairobi, where she is living with a family and teaching at a local school.

The internship in which Davis is currently participating was developed by another PC alumna, Jenn Paden ’14, during the summer of 2014. Previous to her eight-week stay in Kenya, Davis participated in the “Out of Africa” Maymester in 2013, a mission trip to Kenya in 2014, and a mission trip to Haiti in 2015.

“Jess is a natural-born teacher and has a huge heart for kids denied access to the basics of education, food, shelter, and safety,” said Dr. Jeri Parris Perkins ’81, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Clinton and member of the PC Board of Trustees. “From the very beginning, Jess wanted to return to live among and teach the children and youth of Kikuyu and the Beloved Daughters. Jess worked at the Clinton Hardware store on weekends and after class to save money so she could return to the country that grabbed her heart years ago.”

Kenya5Presbyterian College’s Mission Internship program was developed in 2012 as the result of a generous gift to the college on the part of PC alumnus Warren Berry ’55 and his wife Nancy. Internships range from one week to 12 weeks. Pharmacy students also receive elective credit for this service-based course and internship. Since the development of the program in 2012, four faculty members, eight pharmacy students, and 36 undergraduate students have traveled to Kenya and Haiti through the program.

“The purpose of these trips,” said Perkins, “is to build relationships and partnerships in mission and ministry across cultures and to engage in a building ministry.”

Kenya7Four members of the PC community—Dr. Julia Wilkins, assistant professor of education; Dr. Justin Niata, adjunct instructor of French; and Blake Hawkins and Kofi Amanquah, members of the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy class of 2018—recently traveled to Kenya. Wilkins and Niata had the opportunity to visit and observe various local schools in order to learn more about the Kenyan educational system while Hawkins and Amanquah gained hands-on experiences in the general pharmacy and the eye clinic pharmacy at a local hospital. The group also visited the Comet House to read with the children and help with carpentry projects.

Kenya1“Having the opportunity to visit private and public schools in Kikuyu, as well as a special education school in Nairobi, was an amazing experience. We were impressed by the hospitality of teachers and principals who devoted their time to meeting and talking with us. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to observe lessons and to witness the attentiveness and high level of engagement of students in every school,” said Wilkins.

Partnerships with Cuba and Russia are being developed in the next two years so that students, faculty, and staff can engage in mission, service, study, and research in these locations as well.

“Jess and all the other students and faculty members who study and serve on one of the Berry Mission Internships truly epitomize the motto of the College by learning, partnering, serving, and becoming family with brothers and sisters around the world who have much to teach and give us,” said Perkins. “Warren and Nancy Berry’s generosity and vision enable students, staff, and faculty to fulfill the great commission of our Lord who called each of us to go into the world and make disciples—bring good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and to let the oppressed go free.”



Presbyterian College is located on a striking 240-acre campus in Clinton, between Columbia and Greenville, S.C. Offering challenging academics and a culture of honor, ethics, and service that prepares students to be leaders in communities, PC offers its students the benefit of engaging with an exceptional faculty who take individual interest in their students’ well-being, both personally and in the classroom. The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy opened in 2010, and is dedicated to the ideals of leadership, honor to the profession, and service to the community. For more information about Presbyterian College, visit