UDaB expands influence, creates more trips
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 20:09
“People ask me all the time, ‘It’s only a week of service, what are you actually doing?’” says senior Margaret Stohler, program coordinator of University of Delaware Alternative Spring Break. “‘You’re going to a community that you know nothing about, serving and then leaving. That couldn’t possibly be helpful.’ But I think about the perspective that you gain when you’re on the trip, prioritizing the community and your life values and choices.”
This perspective is what UDaB calls “active citizenship” and will grow now that UDaB has expanded their trips this year, Stohler says.
Students who attend a UDaB program participate in service-based learning trips.
“From the very beginning it was bigger than we ever anticipated,” says Susan Serra, assistant director of the Office of Service Learning and coordinator of UDaB.
From its first trip three years ago with 92 student participants and 12 student leaders to its most recent trip last spring with 152 student participants, UDaB has seen its community grow, according to its website.
Due to increased interest, UDaB has added three more trips this year. Currently, there are 11 trips set for Spring Break 2014. This year UDaB is also collaborating with the Blue Hen Leadership Program, the Honors Program and the School of Nursing. Each program will have its own alternative break. UDaB is partnering with them on the training and in some aspects of the application process, Serra says.
Last year the Honors Program sent out a trip similar to UDaB’s, and this year the groups officially partnered together to send out a trip, Stohler says.
“In addition to these new partnerships which has increased the leadership in our organization, we are also increasing the number of trips we are sending out which is probably the biggest draw for our trips this year,” Stohler says. “It’s a testament to how much we’ve grown in the past year and how much university support we’ve gotten.”
About half of UDaB’s trips this year will be returning to the same sites or issues they have in the past, she says. UDaB will continue to partner with Habitat for Humanity and the National Relief Network in New Orleans, Stohler says.
UDaB has a new trip to Detroit this year which will work on issues regarding hunger and homelessness, Stohler says. In addition to these, UDaB’s trips will focus on affordable housing, arts education, disaster recovery, health, urban environment and urban farming, according to their website.