Leaders: Bea Menendez '04 and Lindsay White '04 This trip will offer the unique opportunity to work with the urban Alaska Native population in Anchorage. We are specifically interested in helping native health care organizations educate the community about their new programs concerning women's health. In Anchorage, this is the newest are of social development services. Many of the organizations are run by natives for natives, thus empowering the native community as a whole. We are very excited to work with such a new component of the native health care system in Alaska.
Leaders: Amy Dribin '04 and Puran Parsani '04 Taos, New Mexico, known for having the largest per capita Jello consumption, is the destination of our Alt Break Trip. The goal of this trip is to gain an understanding of the various social problems and concerns facing the community in New Mexico. We will spend our first week doing home construction and renovation on a Taos Pueblo through an organization called Taos Pueblo housing. That is right folks. This means learning how to build with adobe-one of traditional building techniques used in New Mexico. Over the weekend, we will enjoy the sunny weather while exploring the Taos area, either through hiking or through other fun activities. During the second week, we will work on a variety of projects that may include the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, a soup kitchen, and construction for the Taos film festival or working in a youth shelter. Benito (our contact person at Taos Pueblo Housing) cannot wait to see us there!
New Orleans, Louisanna
Leaders: Louisa Warren '04 and Denny Marsh '04 This trip is geared towards gaining a greater understanding of the Deep South. In doing so, we will explore the eclectic and diverse urban area of New Orleans for one week and then head to rural Louisiana for the second week. In New Orleans, we will be working with the New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative on several projects, including repairing sub-standardized housing, as well as improving and enhancing elderly housing in a "target neighborhood" chosen by the Collaborative. Work in New Orleans may also include work with Habitat for Humanity. When we move to rural East Louisiana, a very economically depressed area, we will change our focus from neighborhood development to children's education and development. We will be working at a school called the 21st Century Community Learning Center, funded by a Federal education grant, which targets at-risk youth and works to develop the potential kids need to gain an optimistic outlook on their future. We will spend the afternoons with the kids an d assist at their after-school program. We may also volunteer in a soup kitchen in Jackson, Louisiana. From urban to rural, this trip will be a journey into the Deep South and the many issues that face the unique landscape. And don't worry, ya'll are gonna have a rockin' time.
New York City
Leaders: Annie Perng '04 and Dani Gazibara '04 The goal of our trip is to gain a better understanding of Chinatown and Harlem, two communities unique in their history and in the particular issues they face. The primary themes of our trip include race and ethnicity, human rights, gender and women's issues, and community development in low-income areas. We chose to work in Chinatown because of the lack of media attention on the economic and social conditions aggravated by the September 11th tragedy. Due to the large immigrant and non-English speaking population and the lack of central leadership, we will be working with Chinese-American Planning Council in organizing a campaign for additional aid to the community. Currently, we plan to produce a public service announcement and possibly literature to help expose these conditions nationwide. In Harlem, we will be working with Project Find, a network of centers for homeless and low-income seniors, and Youth Action Program, a GED program for black and Latino youth. By interacting with both the elderly and the y outh, we hope to gain a better sense of life in Harlem while helping them gain general skills that we as college students are more familiar with (i.e. using the Internet). We also plan to work with The Street Harassment Project, an activist group of women who advocate safe and assertive ways of dealing with sexual harassment in the subways, parks, and streets of New York City. Ways we may help SHP include street theater, counter-harassment workshops, outreach programs in schools, and speak-outs. Once we meet as a group, we can decide whether or not to work with other organizations that have expressed interest in working with us. Participants should expect to do some research prior to the trip in order to prepare for this intensive learning experience. In addition, participants are required to have some fun!
Leaders: Katie Hanck '02 and Nick Lencioni '02 Our spring break trip will focus on community building and development in Southeast Seattle. Primarily we will be working with an organization called P-Patch, more specifically, their project called Cultivating Communities. This project aims to build and help maintain community gardens in areas with low-income public housing. The gardeners are primarily Southeast Asian immigrants who can use the gardens as a place to grow food for their families or to earn additional income. Additionally, these gardens function as a means to bring the community together. We will have the opportunity to work on many different garden sites and to work with the gardeners during work parties. The second week we will be involved in a variety of different projects around the Seattle area including neighborhood cleanup projects and working with the parks department. We plan on exploring the diverse neighborhoods of Seattle, hiking in the nearby mountains, and getting together with some Seattle alumni. We expect the work to be diffic ult but ultimately rewarding, as has been the case for many participants on the previous Seattle alternative breaks.
New York City
Leaders: Laura Polstein '04 and Shannon Heffernan '04 This trip will focus on community gardening. Work will include physical labor, such as removal of garbage, and direct human service, such as training inner city youth to do specialty gardening. In addition we will engage in several shorter projects. We hope to include work with Head Start, an early childhood development program for low-income families and the Park Slope Geriatric Facility. The trip will also include a one-day visit to the local Catholic Worker, a grassroots community enhancement project. This trip promises to be a rewarding service experience as well as an opportunity to explore New York City in all of its glory.