Alternative Spring Break 2020

Connections with the Midwest; Exploring links between Poverty, Education. and Healthcare

Paul Jo

Alternative Break trips give students the opportunity to travel to a new location with a group of fellow students and two staff/faculty advisors in order to explore critical social issues through meaningful service, education and reflection.  Each trip features a different social issue area of focus, community partner, and domestic or international location. This spring break, the students will have an opportunity to travel to the Midwest to spend time with several nonprofit organizations that seek to explore the links between poverty, education and access to healthcare within a community impacted by a compromised infrastructure. If contributing to meaning service, getting educated, first hand experience, and having a non-alcohol and drug break sounds like something you would want to participate the application is here.

I spoke with Monica Joseph who is a student who participated in the Alternative Winter Break to get her experience on it. When I asked her about what she expected from the experience she said, “I felt like this would be an eye-opening and horizon-broadening experience for me; the closer and closer we got to the trip, the more I realized that it would be life-changing.” She emphasized that the experience helped her make the decision on what her dream is, “I would without a doubt do this experience again, a hundred thousand times over. This trip stands as a pillar that has truly shaped my life. I think this trip allowed me to identify myself as an African-American female in ways that few other experiences ever have. It helped me to decide that my new dream is to become an actual criminal justice lawyer, a lawyer who seeks restorative justice for both the victim and perpetrator of a crime.” Another byproduct of the experience were the friendships and connections she made. She said, “It also gave me friendships that I am confident will last me a lifetime, not because we all share common interests or values, because we most certainly do not, but because we experienced things together and served together in such a unique way. How could we not?”

I also spoke with Cheyenne Gray who participated during the winter break. Her experience was that, “alternative break is an immersive trip on various levels. One, you dive right into the topic at hand by going to a place where the subject is especially relevant. Two, you are with a group of like-minded individuals looking to advance their life on an intellectual level. Finally, you really get to know yourself because you are evaluating a subject that has to do with other human beings, where you are in a more advantageous position.” She’s so happy to be apart that she plans on applying again. She says, “From now on, I will apply to every Alternative Break, only hoping to get an experience of a lifetime once more. It is the best decision I have ever made in my entire life.”

Applications are available NOW in the Center for Service Learning or by using the link above. For more information please stop by MH 120 or reach out at [email protected]. Applications are due no later than February 17th at 5:00pm.