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Students turn spring break into a service break

February 19th, 2015 Posted in Opinion

By Chase Checketts

Students from Utah State University’s Alternative Breaks Program will be providing service to individuals in California and Southern Utah during the school’s spring break March 9 to 15.

Three groups of students will be going to Moab and parts of San Diego and San Francisco to work with local non-profit organizations and communities in those areas.

“Alternative Breaks is a good opportunity to take time to serve in places you might not usually find yourself in,” said Nelda Ault, the trip leader for the San Diego project. “Students should expect to step out of their comfortable life and learn more about others people’s experiences and challenges.”

Each location will have a specific theme based on the needs of the communities it’s serving.

“A new theme we are incorporating in the San Diego trip is refugees and immigrants,” Ault said. “We’re spending time volunteering with agencies in San Diego that work with these particular groups of people.”

The program is designed to help students not only give service to others in need, but to help students learn about different cultures and help them became service-oriented members of the community.

“Our trips are centered on our core values: education, service and recreation,” said Aubree Payne, the student director for Alternative Breaks. “We want our participants to become active service-oriented citizens of the community they currently interact with.”

Alternative Breaks is a part of the Val R. Christensen Service Center at USU, which that helps students find ways to volunteer.

“I enjoy going on service trips to recognize the efforts of those who serve behind the scenes and to help those people who don’t stand out,” said Sarah Larsson, a member of the program. “I have learned that there is no one way to solve a problem and to be able to get different communities perspectives on how to handle difficult situations has broadened my education.”

For more information, go to: http://www.usu.edu/servicecenter/


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