Students ‘break’ expectations
Though students are getting back into the swing of schoolwork, junior physics major Kat Zander said her spring break experience with Alternative Break Connections will last a lifetime.
“It’s such a great opportunity to go and see a new place, while still helping out,” Zander, a trip leader of a group of students who travelled to Nashville, Tenn., said.
With Alternative Break Connections, students get the opportunity to travel to locations nationally to participate in community service activities.
In Nashville, Zander and her fellow participants worked with Friends of Warner Parks on trail maintenance, working five hours a day from Monday through Friday in activities such as cleaning up the trails and transporting gravel.
“It was amazing,” Zander said. “I had a fantastic group, they were super eager. They always were up to do anything.”
But in addition to serving the community, Zander said that the students involved were able to learn about Nashville.
“You get to go and explore a new city and see what that city has to offer…all over the country,’ Zander said. “We had another trip that went to Atlanta.”
Junior criminal justice major Liz Hayden was the trip leader for another group of students who travelled to Atlanta, Ga. to volunteer. Hayden’s group volunteered with the organizations Safe House Outreach, which works with people experiencing homelessness, and the East Atlanta Kids Club, an after-school community center.
Hayden said the most rewarding aspect of the trip working with the community.
“[It was rewarding] seeing the impact that we had on the people, the organization we were helping, and how it changed us,” she said. “We went in with preconceived notions and learned about ourselves. We were really a team. And that made me really happy, how I saw people grow just in that week. It was really inspiring.”
Both Zander and Hayden said they hope that more students can get involved with next year’s trips.
“I think it can bring a really diverse group of students together,” Hayden said. “So whether you’re in Greek life, or you’re not really involved on campus, or you’re super involved, just anybody, they’re just really great experiences.”
To find out more about Alternative Break Connections, visit http://www.towson.edu/studentactivities/communityservice/asb.asp