Meals in Minneapolis
Leaders: Susan Hildebrand and Adam Barrett Our Alt Break seeks to engage with the everyday poverty that surrounds us. The most likely location for this break is Minneapolis, Minnesota, working with "Our Saviour's Housing." They maintain an emergency shelter and provide dinner for 40 residents every night. In addition, they are currently trying to expand to provide breakfast and lunch. We will help provide meals and, potentially, branch out to help with other needed services. This trip will be a way for Grinnellians to actively improve people's lives in the Midwest and enjoy and understand the city of Minneapolis -- its charms and its problems.
Native American Issues on the Pine Ridge Reservation
Leaders: David Wylie and Kevin Wood The Oglala Sioux Indians live on Pine Ridge, a reservation the size of Connecticut in the southwest corner of South Dakota. The reservation is thoroughly steeped on poverty as a lack of infrastructure, education, housing, and jobs continues to grip the Oglala people. Our trip will focus on the core causes of such poverty, and we will explore these issues before, during, and after our trip. We will be working with several organizations on building projects, tutoring and work with children in schools, and serving meals to homeless. Following a week on the reservation, we will travel to Wyoming to visit another reservation and compare our collective experiences on each.
Health and Wellness on the Reservation
Leaders: Zach Razavi and Alex Brooks Native Americans in the Southwest face many problems of contemporary society as their reservations are increasingly becoming integrated with and dependent on outside sources for income, goods and services. A common focus of community service for Native Americans is health issues as they relate to alcoholism or access to health services. One overlooked aspect of Natives' problems deals with the increasing damage to their environment. Illegal garbage dumping and poor irrigation systems are just two of many threats to the environmental health of Native Americans and their reservations. Accordingly, we propose to send a group of students to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona to work on issues relating to the environmental health of the Navajo. Because environmental problems are site-specific, we could work on any number of environmental projects, including building irrigation networks, creating trails, cleaning up waste sites, combating erosion, or constructing educational signs about environmental issues. We will have the opportunity to assist and learn from environmental experts and experienced laborers in a culturally complex and interesting setting. Also, since health issues are such a prominent issue, we may also include projects that relate to broader issues of Navajo's overall health. We are trying to increase the quality of Native's lives any way possible, and we are looking for creative and motivated people to help us do so.
Environmental Issues in Our National Parks
Leaders: Jonathan Brennen and John O'Rourke It is time to repent for your crimes against the environment; come join us and pay your penance over spring break. Escape the hustle and bustle of the mighty urban metropolis that is Grinnell, to a beautiful, tranquil western national park, where you will build and sweat and cry and purge your soul of the burden of your guilt. We will live in the heart of nature: sleeping in tents and shitting in holes; it will be transcendent and transcendental. Our country's parks, tragically under-funded and under-appreciated, need our help. It is our task to confront the physical needs of a national park, repairing trails, building fences and the like. With your help we will restore our parks to their idyllic Emersonian glory, and eat many s'mores.
Kids + Ecological Responsibility= Sustainability + FUN!
Leaders: Julie Bradley-Cook and Kara Moskowitz This alt break trip will travel to the Bay Area in California to promote environmental awareness and community development. More specifically, participants will work with organizations dedicated to using gardens and natural areas as tools for learning. These organizations provide services to the surrounding community, school groups, families, and inner city youth. Participants will work in locations varying from developed native areas to organic vegetable gardens to orchards. This work promotes ecological responsibility in combination with education and community building. Those interested should be ready to get their hands a little dirty in the warm, California sun!
Youth Advocacy and Teen Homelessness in the Pacific Northwest
Leaders: Jose Baez and Emma Ryan Our trip focuses on youth advocacy by addressing teenage homelessness in the Pacific Northwest and we plan on delving into issues that surround homelessness such as abuse, addiction, and poverty. We hope to have an immediate impact as we work with organizations that offer counseling and educational services to runaway and homeless youth. Ranging from large group projects within shelters to interacting on a one on one basis with youth, our work will bring us into close contact with homeless teenagers. Come make a difference in youth issues while enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest!
Reconstructing the Area Hit by Hurricane Katrina
Leaders: Heather Parker and YaYa Yuan We would like to lead a trip to the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina. We will work to rebuild and restore the community through house repairs, community gardening and shelter work. There are some possible organizations with which we could work: Habitat for Humanity, the Catholic Worker, YMCA and Salvation Army. Our goals are to repair and rejuvenate a community in need. We want to make sure that they know they have not been forgotten and that we are still thinking and caring about them.