Alternative Spring Break: The “experience of a lifetime”

Jacquelyn+Gallo%2C+FJ+Costantino%2C+Jill+Ehret%2C+Troy+Carey+and+Peter+Tuzzo+in+Costa+Rica+last+year.

Courtesy of Peter Tuzzo

Jacquelyn Gallo, FJ Costantino, Jill Ehret, Troy Carey and Peter Tuzzo in Costa Rica last year.

Toni Pennello, Asst. News Editor

Are you interested in new experiences? What about working to serve communities nationwide and globally? If so, alternative spring break might be the perfect opportunity for you.

Each year, rather than going home for spring break, many Wilkes University students spend their time traveling to a new place to partake in community service.

“Over the past 19 years, Wilkes has joined with numerous organizations to build and repair homes, assist seniors, teach children and bring help to people who need it most,” says Wilkes’ website.

Service trips are coordinated by student leaders with active roles in facilitating, teambuilding, fundraising, publicity, pre-trip education and developing the trip itinerary. All participants work together to challenge themselves, take risks, communicate, build trust, and grow more committed to working for social justice, says the ASB website.

This year, students participating will visit WorkFest Kentucky, where students from across the country will come together to complete building projects for those who need it. The program is looking to fill openings, so students should act now in order to ensure that they can reserve their spots.

“Kentucky was the first trip I advised 10 years ago, and I’m still in contact with the woman whose home we repaired,” said Megan Boone, coordinator of student development.

“Not only do students and advisors return year after year, but families stay connected with those who have helped them. By the end of one week students already feel like family and want to return the following year.”

Boone suggests that students participate in Alternative Spring Break to meet new people, make a real impact on a community, learn new skills, make life-long connections and more.

Recent Wilkes graduate Troy Carey spent his spring break in Costa Rica doing community service at a school.

“The biggest benefit for me was seeing the direct impact we had on these kids lives. You can tell they’re not used to having people like us visit them and contribute to their school,” Carey said.

“I had never even considered ASB before, but after talking to some friends who went it sounded like a fun experience. To me it was so much more than that.”

Carey added that it was more than community service; he said it was “the experience of a lifetime,” and that it was an opportunity to experience a different culture.

According to the ASB website, the generosity of friends and alumni allows the ASB program to expand and improve every year. This would not be possible without the contributions of Student Government, Programming Board, the Felice Salsburg Fund and all who supported various fundraisers and events.

Previous trips have included travels to India, the Dominican Republic, Tennessee, Costa Rica, Louisiana, Florida, Oklahoma and Portland.

If any students are seeking more information about ASB or wish to apply, they are welcome to contact Megan Boone at [email protected]