While spring break may feel like a distant reality, the Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement office in the Lory Student Center has been planning for this year’s spring break since April.
The Alternative Spring break program, offered through the SLiCE office is entering into its 17th year of trips. The program started out offering one trip in its first year, but is now giving students the opportunity to participate in one of 16 programs offered during the week long break, as well as one trip offered over winter break.
The spring break trips will take place in 15 cities across the country, as well as one trip in Achiote, Panama. Applications for the trip are due October 25 at 5 p.m.
“Our mantra is see the world serve the world,” said Kelsey Baun, SLICE Program Coordinator.
The trips allow students to visit places they have never been before and experience it by looking through a specific lens. Each trip has a topic of focus and partners with organizations in the city students are visiting and volunteering in.
Each trip is led by two student leaders and a faculty or community member.
“Making the decision to apply my first year and go on an alt break my first year was single handedly the best decision I made in my CSU career,” said Sandy Broscheit, alternative spring break student coordinator. “I think I just know a lot more about the world and my place in it because of alt break.”
This year Borscheit is a student leader for the Charleston, South Carolina trip. The trip focuses on abuse and neglect from an educational standpoint.
“In Charleston we’re hoping to look out how race, education and poverty intersect with these kids who may be experiencing abuse and neglect,” Broscheit said.
As part of the trip, students will be working with various organizations like Windwood Farms, which offers education, counseling services and programs for neglected and abused boys.
“I think there is a good mix of hands on active service where you are doing a lot of manual labor, which is true on a lot of the trips, (and it is) very well balanced with education on what these organizations do and why they’re important and what impact they make on the community,” Broscheit said.
For many students, going on the trip is a life-changing experience.
“It was really empowering and really eye opening,” said Carina Orozco, Panama Trip Student Leader, in regards to her first Alternative Spring Break trip to New York City.
The New York City trip, which is being offered this year, focuses on HIV and AIDS and works with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis Center.
“Even though we are doing service when we go there, I feel that participants get much more out of it than the people we are working with get from our service,” Orozco said. “I say that because for me personally it completely turned my life around. It not only changed the way I saw that issue but the way I see myself and just the way I experience the world. It made me more of a critical thinker.”
All students are eligible to apply for a grant up to $500 to put towards the trip. There will be two information sessions held on October 18 and 19 at 6 p.m.
For more information about the trips, visit lsc.colostate.edu.