Alternative Spring Break
Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is a chance for students to go out into less fortunate communities and make a difference throughout the week of Spring Break. It is put on through the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE). Each year we travel to a new location with a group of students. Past trips have included: Atlanta GA, Biloxi MS, Roanoke VA, Miami FL, and New Orleans LA. For the first time this year, we hosting two trip, one to Philadelphia PA and one to Blackville SC. Next year we are planning to expand to three trips with one going international!
I have been very involved in Habitat for Humanity and Mission trips all through high school and my time at college. I have a strong passion for helping people and alternative spring break has allowed me to help people in a different way!
I have gone on the trip twice and it has changed my life. Not only have I made an impact on others lives, but I have also come out of the trip with lifelong friends here at RIT as well. Going on this trip has taught me more things than I can count. I have been to a seen parts of the country that are different from my own.
I had the opportunity to go to Biloxi, Mississippi for my first trip. We traveled there 10 years after hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. I didn’t know what to expect when we arrived, but the area was much more devastated than I expected. The hurricane destroyed homes from its force and the after effect of water damage. Since the area is far below the poverty line, the people who lost their homes couldn’t afford to rebuild. The donations stopped coming in from Red Cross and other people because the hurricane moved farther out of their minds as time progressed and resources dwindled. We were able to help by clearing invasive plants species, painting homes, fixing up a camp, building a barrier in the ocean to protect against erosion damage on the shoreline and volunteering at a boys and girls club. I loved how I was able to be a part of so many different types of projects. This trip impacted me in a way I never expected. I felt that we made a real impact by helping people rebuild their lives in a devastated area.
The people we help on these trips are always so appreciative. Hearing their stories, makes me realize how lucky I truly have it. Some of these people have nothing. That’s one of the reasons why I continue to go back on the trip. It is rewarding and I feel as though I have helped someone's life for the better.
This year we are raising money in a crowdfunding campaign to support our efforts and trips. Our campaign is called “Tigers Serve: Alternative Spring Break” and if you are interested in donating you can make a contribution here.
Don’t forget to use #RITStudentLife to share your experience with us!
Alternative Spring Break Student Director