Since ISU students first went to Jackson, Mississippi in 2004, for Alternative Spring Break (ASB), hundreds of Sycamores have participated in a variety of Alternative Break (AB) projects throughout the United States and Internationally. Outreach efforts have included: working with youth, working with the elderly, environmental rehabilitation, wildlife rehabilitation, Gulf Coast clean-up, and minor home repair. Alternative Break is a student-driven national movement that creates opportunities for students to reach out to communities around the United States and the world. It fosters a lifelong commitment to citizenship and community engagement. While participating in AB, students will gain knowledge, learn practical skills, and become more aware of the many social and environmental issues in the United States and around the globe.
This year, Campus Recreation was afforded the opportunity to work with the Center of Community Engagement to plan an Alternative Spring Break Trip to Puerto Rico for Campus Recreation student staff. During the week, students will focus on completing projects that address hunger, homelessness, childhood education, and the environment. The trip costs each student $1,600. This amount includes everything for the 8 days in Puerto Rico (minus travel day food). The trip can take up to 20 students.
During the month of October, students raised $4,500 towards their total trip costs. During the month of December, they are working to raise the remaining amount of funds in order to help support their trip costs.
Any form of donation is greatly appreciated and will help support our students in this once in a lifetime opportunity!
Here are a few words from some of the students attending the trip:
Megan Metzler, Graduate Assistant, Membership Services - Graduate Student, Occupational Therapy
I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to visit Puerto Rico with some of my amazing co-workers while giving back to communities in need. This trip will allow me to learn more about other cultures and also provide me an opportunity to further enhance my passion of helping others in need. I believe that this trip will be a fun and unique way for me to expand on some of my professional skills such as oral communication, teamwork, leadership, and time management. I would be extremely thankful for any donation that would help me attend this once-in-a-life-time community engagement trip. As a second year Master of Occupational Therapy student, this is an exciting opportunity that is happening just a few months before I begin my fieldwork placements before graduation! This will be my first alternative spring break trip and I cannot wait to see how much I learn and to help Puerto Rican communities!
Alyvia Foster, Lifeguard - Freshman, Aviation
Being a woman going into the male dominate career field of aviation, it is important to set myself apart from others and step outside of my comfort zones to achieve my goals. Roughly 5-7 percent of pilots are women. This goes to show the dedication needed to reach my end goal. For me, this trip is not only a way to broaden my resume and experience, but a way to set myself apart from my peers when it comes to acts of service. The numerous opportunities that are offered on this trip, such as wildlife restoration and educating the native students, are opportunities that are not achievable around campus and our home community. These acts of service will be experiences that very little people get the chance to do, and I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of a trip where so many experiences are offered.
Samara Young, Lifeguard - Senior, Exercise Science
This trip is something that I feel passionate about and is an experience that I have always wanted the opportunity to have. In high school, a lot of people in my class went on a Europe trip that I was not able to afford. I was not too upset about it because it did not include anything on the coastline, and it was not a volunteer trip. I love the water and am passionate about environmental restoration, especially when it comes to coral reefs and the ocean. A donation would mean so much to me because it would mean I would not have to worry about pulling money from other things in my life or working extra shifts at my jobs to be able to go. This trip is exactly what I have been looking for and is with amazing people.
Jarin Bontrager, Graduate Assistant - Sports Programs - Graduate Student, Sport Management
Hello, Friends and Family; I have been afforded an incredible opportunity through my Graduate Assistantship with Campus Recreation and as a student at Indiana State University to take a service trip to Puerto Rico in March 2023! During my time in Puerto Rico, I, along with around 15 other ISU students, will be volunteering time towards various service-related initiatives. Some probable examples include disaster relief, environmental restoration, and a service project assisting students with homework and recreational activities at a local Boys and Girls Club. Additionally, our group will be able to explore parts of the island by taking a catamaran trip to learn about coral reefs and take in the landscape and aspects of the culture for ourselves.
I am excited about this trip and think it will be an incredibly humbling and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially at this stage in my life! This trip does come with a cost of $1,600. Fortunately, Campus Recreation provided funding for ten students (including me) for the first $300, bringing my cost to $1,300. With your generous support (if you feel led to provide financial assistance in my name for the trip), know that it will go directly to serving the people of Puerto Rico! Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I also plan to share details of the trip during and afterward. Thank you, and God Bless!
Erica Palmer - Personal Trainer - Graduate Student
I completed my undergraduate and am currently completing my graduate degree here at Indiana State and through my time here, I have fallen in love with helping and teaching others. I have learned so much through school and working at the rec center and am excited to use these experiences to benefit others. It would mean a lot for me to go on this trip because I have never had the opportunity to travel and participate in a service trip like this, so I would love to go before I graduate! A donation would mean everything to me because since I am paying for school, I do not have the funds to go without donations. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go and represent ISU and the campus rec center, so I don’t want to miss out. Every little bit counts and even a couple of dollars makes a difference, so please consider donating to me!!
Michael Mokrzycki - Building Supervisor/Sports Programs - Senior
Brooklyn Hey - Graduate Assistant of Fitness - Graduate Student