About Friends


QUEST is the Quaker Center for Understanding, Engagement, and Stewardship, and was established in 2009 to provide leadership and an administrative structure for programs that express and build upon distinctive strengths of Quaker education: cross-cultural and international understanding, social justice, diversity, and environmental stewardship all within the context of service learning. The goal of QUEST is to focus on student development of global thinking skills, active engagement in issues, and confidence as global stewards and leaders.

QUEST Term Service

QUEST Term Service/Leadership Trips engage students in an experiential learning model to increase their understanding of global issues as well as strategies to mitigate the impact of these challenges. During the summers preceding their 10th, 11th, and 12th grade years, students may elect to travel to domestic or international destinations to engage in global issues through service and leadership.

In June of 2018, in partnership with the World Leadership School, students traveled to El Paso, Texas, for an examination of worldwide immigration issues through the lens of the U.S.-Mexico border. In this program, students saw first-hand the government agencies responsible for controlling the border, including the US Border Patrol. Students also met the leaders of a network of non-profit agencies that provide shelter, food, legal aid, and other services to illegal migrants. In partnership with Cristo Rey Lutheran Church, students provided community service and witnessed the impact of their service to the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable in the El Paso-Juarez border community.

In June of 2019, 26 students and three chaperones returned for our fourth QUEST visit to Cabarete in the Dominican Republic. The group collaborated with the DREAM Project to support early literacy programs at a camp for young learners. The DREAM Project works closely with community members and public school staff to assess local needs, establish quality education programs that address those needs, and provide continuous support to schools, teachers and community members to ensure success over the long-term.

Also in June of 2019, 17 students and two chaperones traveled to South Africa to experience first hand the rich history and culture of Cape Town and Pretoria, as well as the beauty of Madikwe game reserve. Students were immersed in the study of Nelson Mandela and his nonviolent campaign to end Apartheid in South Africa. In addition, students gained a deeper understanding of the global issues surrounding race and inequality through the lens of historical and current residential segregation in South Africa. Students and chaperones partnered with New BeginningZ to assist in implementing programs that address the increasing number of abandoned, abused, and neglected babies and children living in and around Tshwane.


QUEST Scholars

The QUEST Scholars program provides Wilmington Friends School students with significant service learning opportunities that combine academic studies with experiential learning. Students are encouraged to consider service learning projects in one or more of the following areas of focus: diversity, social justice, environmental stewardship, and cross-cultural/international understanding. All WFS upper school students are eligible for participation in the QUEST Scholars program. In applying for participation, each potential QUEST Scholar develops a program proposal. In doing so, the student works with the appropriate adults (in school and in the broader community) to develop a plan to meet the requirements of the particular QUEST Scholar program. With the completion of the proposed program, and with the approval of the head of school, QUEST Scholars receive recognition for their achievement during final assembly.

QUEST Scholar requirements
• A journal of reflections on all activities
• At least 150 hours of service during upper school years, 50 hours minimum per year
• An independent QUEST study for one semester with a faculty advisor 
• Public presentation or cumulative celebration (e.g., Lunch and Learn) to the QUEST Committee and possibly the Board of Directors or whole upper school. 
• Completed prerequisite Peace & Justice course 

QUEST Speakers

The QUEST Big Ideas Speaker Series, Lunch & Learns, and the Home & School Parents for Multiculturalism Movie Night are forums in which we can bring in leaders and experts of all kinds to meet directly with students. Students have the opportunity to interact one-on-one with people they may have not had the chance to meet otherwise, from Nobel Prize winners, to best-selling authors, to holocaust survivors, to musicians.

Past Big Ideas Speakers include:
Eboo Patel,  founder and Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core

Dr. Eric Chivian, founder and Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, at Harvard Medical School

Gish Jen, award-winning author

Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, civil rights activist and singer

Anand Giridharadas, author and New York Times columnist

Arn Chorn-Pond, human rights activist and musician