Every year the Center for Leadership and Service encourages students to get involved with volunteer opportunities. An exciting volunteer project hosted each spring semester is Alternative Spring Break. This is a four day overnight community service project trip that gives students the opportunity to do more than relax over their spring break, but give back to the community and to those who are in need. It is also a time for students to bond and forge new relationships with others who share a passion for volunteerism.
In previous years, Alternative Spring Break allowed students to do more with their time over the break and get involved working in service projects. This past year the trip focused on work similar to a Habitat for Humanity trip. Students worked to build, furnish and paint a home. They were able to put in tactile volunteer work where they were able to directly see their results.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit housing organization with the goal of providing every person with a decent living space. The Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) creates service trips to assist in the efforts of Habitat for Humanity by building homes for people who struggle with homelessness.
What makes hands-on service projects unique is that students are able to create a visible difference. Whether it be painting a wall, carrying furniture or cleaning out an area, students can do something to help and see what they have done.
In addition to the volunteer work, students will get many opportunities to bond with their peers who go on the trip with them. In previous trips, students have gone to the movies all together and eaten at restaurants. Students who have gone on Alternative Spring Break together have developed new friendships while strengthening their existing friendships and connecting with each other.
A service project like Alternative Spring Break can be incredibly beneficial to a student's resume and Co-Curricular Transcript. The Co-Curricular Transcript (CCT) highlights all of a student's involvement and activities. Oftentimes employers look past just the academic transcript and want to see what a student did while in school. Having an extensive involvement list shows time management, personality and what a student can handle beyond their academics. With an extended service adventure like Alternative Spring Break, a student's CCT will show their dedication to volunteerism and passion to better the community.
Information for Alternative Spring Break 2019 is in the works, but the application is available on Cougar Link! For more information, students can visit the Center for Leadership and Service in Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 219 or call at (908) 737-5170.