Students Plan Alternative Break Service Trips
More than 100 Alma College students and staff will model “service
over self” when they embark on Alternative Break service trips to six
locations throughout the United States during their winter break.
“Alternative Break service experiences continue to gain popularity on Alma College’s campus,” said Sallie Scheide, assistant director of Discovering Vocation. “I thought that we had reached our maximum number of participants last year, but there is an increase once again.
“We currently have 96 students and 11 staff members ready to pack their bags in preparation to serve others, compared to 89 students and 12 staff last year. These numbers do not include the 19 students who traveled to Mississippi with Chaplain Carol Gregg during Christmas break,” she said.
Alternative Breaks, scheduled for the week of Feb. 24 through March 3, are a great way for students to get off campus, engage in service opportunities, learn about social issues and experience new cultures, said Krissie Divers, Newberry Hall director.
“Perhaps the best part, though, is that these students bring their experiences back to the college and community,” said Divers. “Past participants have reunited to work at local Habitat for Humanity sites, and this year we’re looking to make that reorientation even bigger. Student site leaders will be starting to plan local community service while on their breaks so that they can effectively bring their skills and commitment to service back to the Alma community.”
Flint senior Kelly Barber, who will be participating on her second Alternative Break trip, said helping others gives her a new perspective on the world around her.
“When helping others I realize how fortunate I am,” she said. “I often lose this sense in my daily life, going to class and socializing with friends. After participating in Alternative Break, I was motivated to continue with service in my community and daily life. I also gained a bond with a wonderful group of people with the passion to serve.”
This year’s service projects include:
• working on a Habitat for Humanity home in Belen, New Mexico. Manual labor may include dry walling, framing, roofing or anything that goes into building a home;
• constructing wheelchair ramps at private homes in Nashville, Tenn., for United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee;
• assisting teachers and students in classroom and after-school programs at an urban elementary school in Philadelphia;
• constructing trails in the Smoky Mountain section of the Sundquist Wildlife Management Area in LaFollette, Tenn.;
• assisting with Hurricane Katrina clean-up efforts in Louisiana with National Relief Network of Greenville, Mich.;
• working to relieve urban poverty through various agencies coordinated by Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C.
Discovering Vocation: The Lilly Project at Alma College financially supports the majority of Alternative Break expenses, which include agency fees, travel, room, board and at least one cultural experience in the area. Student leaders are responsible for organizing their service team and logistical deals, including pre- and post-trip activities.
Posted: Wed, February 14th, 2007 at 9:15AM