Photo by Dylan Skye Aycock / Sidelines Archive
Story by Davida Johnson and Rosalie Gunger / Contributing Writers
Tennessee, known as “The Volunteer State,” takes pride in leading the nation in volunteering and community service – and MTSU’s Alternative Spring Break, offered from March 4-7, takes it even a step further.
The ASB Program, organized by the Office of Student Organizations and Service and co-sponsored by the Student Government Association, is preparing to give students the opportunity to spend their spring break volunteering instead of taking part in traditional spring break activities. Each day will take place at a different non-profit organization that focuses on social issues such as the environment, homelessness and hunger. In the past students have volunteered with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Feed the Children and local schools.
“My experience was really good,” said Deshawn Dyson, a senior at MTSU who has been a part of ASB in the past and plans on signing up again this year. “It was a four day experience. We did Head Start, Feed the Children, Habitat for Humanity and the Food Bank. Out of the four, my favorite was Habitat for Humanity because it actually felt as though I was giving back or really helping someone in the community.”
Finding volunteer opportunities can be complicated for students, but with programs such as this one, it makes the process much easier. The program was created almost twenty years ago as a way to get students more involved in the community.
“…I feel as though I’m always going to remember that I was able to help someone that really needed it,” Dyson said. “The staff for ASB was extremely friendly … I did it with friends, but we actually clicked with the other 10 or 12 students that were present. I was skeptical of it at first, but it became a really good experience in the end.”
Students interested in the work the Alternative Spring Break Program does, or interested in joining next year, can check out their website here.
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