Hiram College


A concert this weekend will kick off what is sure to be a life-changing journey for 14 students and 5 faculty and staff members at Hiram.

Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band will perform from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, May 1 at the Martin Field House to benefit a mission trip students, faculty and staff are taking this summer to the Dominican Republic from May 16-June 2.

Jody Modarelli, assistant professor of biology who is attending the trip, said they’ll be helping children of Haitian descent living in the Dominican Republic who face racism and discrimination.

“The biggest problem is the kids who live in the Dominican from Haiti can’t go to school if they don’t have shoes,” she said. “Because they are of Haitian descent, they don’t get a birth certificate.”

Knowing there was a problem, Modarelli said a woman known as Sister Denise began teaching children, who would have otherwise been out on the streets and lured into the sex trade. However, these children have never had science lessons, so Hiram science students will be giving them their first lessons on the subject. The Hiram students will teach 50 students a day from a garage.

Hiram nursing and economic students will also be attending the trip and helping out in other ways.

Nursing students will be performing health exams to kids on the streets. Modarelli said they are expecting to perform 140-180, but it may end up being many more.

Economics students will be helping women set up sustainable businesses so they can bring in another source of income for their family.

Those attending the trip have been putting mostly their own money into making the trip possible, so this weekend’s concert will help pay for supplies they need. Tickets are $5 pre-sale (available in the Dining Hall during lunch and dinner, and in Colton 207 and 213) and $7 at the door.

Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band performed for President and Mrs. Obama earlier this week, and Carlos Jones has been the number on reggae artist in the Northeast Ohio area, Modarelli said.

Watch a video of the band’s music and read more about the trip to the Dominican Republic in the group’s blog.

Those who are not able to attend the concert, but would like to donate may e-mail Jody Modarelli at modarellijm@hiram.edu.