An Alternative Break
100 students dedicate spring recess to service
- By Andrea Rose Estey
Senior Caitlin Beaudet has never had a traditional spring break. Instead, she's spent every one of these vacations engaged in community service, along with hundreds of other UVM students, as part of Alternative Spring Break, or ASB. "ASB has meant everything to me," says Beaudet, who's in her second year as a student director. This week, she'll be in New York City at the nonprofit God's Love We Deliver, preparing and delivering food to people with serious illnesses.
In total, 100 students will travel to 11 sites as far away as the St. Bernard Project in New Orleans, a nonprofit disaster relief organization. ASB is in its 27th year at UVM, and while many sites remain the same from year to year, there are new additions; for the first time, students will visit General Coffee State Park in Georgia to restore trails and assist with park maintenance.
Besides doing service, students are also asked to reflect on their experiences throughout the week. This reflection time is a big part of ASB. "I love being involved with service work, especially correlated with social justice," says senior Kerry Breen, who's taking a group to Nashville-based Project Cure, which sends donated medical supplies to developing countries.
While ASB lasts just a week, the impacts are lasting for many students. "This program has opened my eyes to all the opportunities to give back, and all of the social injustice within our nation. It's really fueled my passion for service work, now and in my future," Beaudet says, a molecular genetics major with her sights set on a career in public health.
Follow our Snapchat at uvmvermont to see Breen, Beaudet, and more student-led trips as they spend their week serving.
Follow along as students post on social media with #uvmasb: