Students Contribute 1,400 Hours of Public Service on Alternative Spring Break

Photo of group that worked at Rockaway

Not every college student heads to the beach or even back home for Spring Break.

Forty-eight Eastern Kentucky University students (along with five faculty/staff learning partners) fanned out across the country for “Alternative Spring Break” March 10-14 and contributed more than 1,400 hours of public service.

Working six to eight hours each day, groups helped HIV/AIDS patients in New York City, assisted with Hurricane Sandy relief projects in Rockaway, N.Y., helped with environmental stewardship and coastal erosion projects at the Outer Banks of North Carolina, assisted Habitat for Humanity in Charleston, S.C., and helped with ongoing Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans.

“Alternative Spring Break was an amazing experience,” said EKU student Allison Durr, who went to Charleston. “Not only did I get to help a family in need by contributing to the house where their memories will be made, but I also got the opportunity to learn about the history and heritage of the town we were working in. It was the best of both worlds when it comes to have a fulfilling and enjoyable spring break.”

Long-term relationships have been cultivated with community partners over the eight-year history of Alternative Spring Break at EKU, according to Will Keaton, assistant director of student life-community service.

It wasn’t all work and no play. In addition to their work hanging sheetrock, digging oyster shelters, clearing park trails, preparing food for clinic patients, among other responsibilities, the students did find time for some cultural, historical and educational excursions – such as visits to the 9/11 Memorial and Central Park in New York City, and the Hurricane Katrina Museum and the French Quarter in New Orleans.

Published on March 27, 2014