"I joined ASB because I wanted to get more out of my spring break. I actually called my mom about a month before spring break and was like hey, I want to go somewhere for spring break, maybe get some beach action in, in a halfway joking tone. She emailed me back with an opportunity to go to Galveston, Texas with ASB. I checked it out, thought it could be fun, and a couple weeks later was headed on a bus with 20 people I didn't know to Galveston. I turned out to be one of the best trips I've ever had, and I met a lot of people who I still hang out with today. It's a very neat experience because once you go on a trip or 2 you can start to get more involved with planning or even someday leading a trip."
--Jimmy Buikema '12, ASB participant '09, ASB Site Leader '10-'11
"When I first heard about Alternative Spring Break (ASB) I was really excited by the idea. I’ve always been involved with service throughout high school and especially college and have always wanted to go on a service trip. So when I heard about ASB I knew I had found my match.
"Then when I heard what the sites were I knew I had to be a part of the experience. I went on the Grassy Key Florida ASB trip in Spring 2010. It was easily one of the most memorable experiences of my college career. I am a pre-vet biology major so getting the chance to go on a spring break that was service orientated and interested me in my area of study was a dream come true.
"While we were at the Dolphin Research Center we got to help the animals as well as the people who worked with them. It was amazing to see how much the people who worked there cared for the animals and how much our presence made their everyday life easier. Because all 17 of us were able to do daily chores and some spring cleaning the workers were able to spend more time with the animals and the guests. Since they are a non for profit the more guests they serve, by doing animal encounters, the more money they make for the animals. It was great to see that we were able to accomplish tasks in one day that would have taken them a week or more. We were able to accomplish their long term goals in a shorter time so they were able to get more done for the animals.
"But this experience was not only life changing while we were there, many of the lessons we learned I was able to bring back and incorporate into my everyday life. Since the resources in the keys are so precious recycling is a part of life. Everything they use they try to reuse or recycle to cut down on the waste they produce. When I returned home I began focusing more on what waste I was producing and was able to convince a couple of friends to start recycling their trash, cutting their waste they threw in the garbage in half!
"ASB was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I cannot wait to share these experiences with others this coming spring!"
--Hilary Coulombe '11, ASB participant '10, ASB Site Leader '11
"I have been going on Alternative Spring Breaks since my freshman year. I enjoyed going to Galveston, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia to help in the communities. I have made so many new friends while traveling in these different places. I am a site leader this year and am looking forward to working with a new community. ASB is a lot of fun and I am so happy that I chose to volunteer on my spring break. I feel that I have made a difference in someone’s life. I hope that whoever chooses to go on the next spring break will feel the same way. Making a difference can change your life."
--Colleen Kmiotek '12, ASB participant '09-'10, ASB Site Leader '11
"When I applied to be a part of ASB 2010, I had no idea what to expect. I can’t say I wouldn’t enjoy spending spring break with my toes in the sand, but at the same time, getting my hands dirty was just as appealing. I knew no one going into the program, but my desire for philanthropy and traveling was enough to withstand the apprehension. Looking back, the experience changed my life. I not only got to travel to a destination I had yet to visit, (Atlanta, GA) but I made connections with like-minded college students that I will cherish forever. I had the privilege of donating my time in many different areas of the community, and saw first-hand the impact of our service. What was most challenging was seeing how much work was still to be done. Regardless, as Gandhi once said, it is important to be the change you want to see in the world. I encourage anyone with a drive for change and humanity to get involved with the Alternative Spring Break program. You will find your selflessness is incredibly rewarding!"
--Rebecca Welker '11, ASB participant '10, ASB Site Leader '11
"Alternative Spring Break was an opportunity for me to enhance not only my collegiate experience, but an opportunity to grow as a young adult in today's society. I wanted to experience something I have never come close to taking part in, and I figured what better way than to travel down to the southern tip of Florida with 20 students I hardly know! I wanted to have a fun and unique spring break, and the typical college student trip was not appealing to me. I love to do my part by giving back one way or another, and I decided that this year my part was to attend ASB and to do whatever was asked of me.
"I gained more than I could have ever imagined out of this week. I not only built relationships and friendships with people that I never would have met in a million years, but I learned how important it is to keep our environment clean and how just one person can make a difference. While it might not be entirely noticeable at the moment, I also know I gained more responsibility and I can without a doubt say I matured a tad bit while having some of the most fun I have ever had.
"Every single student should consider taking part in ASB at least for one spring break while they are still in college. It is an amazing chance to travel somewhere you never thought you would, and in ways everyone needs to experience at least once in their life. (FUN BUS!) It is reasonably priced, and you not only benefit others the entire week and make a difference in many people's lives, a positive difference is made in your life whether you realize it right away or not. Looking back on this past March, I cannot help but smile every time I think of the one of the best times I will ever have."
--Adam White '11, ASB participant '10