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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Alternative Spring Break provides selfless service

PROVIDED
This semester, Aggies will travel to five different site across the country to help areas in need over Spring Break.
PROVIDED This semester, Aggies will travel to five different site across the country to help areas in need over Spring Break.

College students often flock to beaches or go home to relax throughout spring break, but one group takes a different route that centers on selfless service.
Alternative Spring Break is a volunteer organization that serves Bryan-College Station and other communities through various spring break trips. Students have spent months preparing to go across the United States to volunteer in different communities on projects ranging from wildlife conservation to animal rescue.
Careful planning goes behind each trip. Blake Sokora, biological and agricultural engineering sophomore and a site leader trainer, said the process of training the leaders of these trips can be lengthy.
“You’re going to a faraway place so you need maps, a basic plan for what you’re going to be doing during the week and food plans for 13 people over the course of a week,” Sokora said. “My job is just to kind of guide them through that and give them pointers.”
This semester the organization will volunteer at five different locations spread across the United States, from Memphis, Tenn. to Carlsbad, New Mexico. Each trip is dedicated to a different issue, ranging from caring for injured animals to helping underprivileged families through volunteer opportunities at a food bank. Although each trip has a different mission, Sokora said they all share a common thread in selfless service.
“One of them is going to a camp for kids with special needs,” Sokara said. “They’ll be helping the volunteers there and running activities for the kids and they will even be making one of their own [activities].”
The trips are confined to spring break, but site leaders prepare well before the break. Martha Todd, environmental geoscience sophomore, participated in Alternative Spring Break last year. This year will be her first time serving as a leader for a trip to the Guadalupe Mountains to learn about environmental conservation.
“You have to budget for food, you have to contact the administration at the park to let them know you’re coming, make sure that you have a place to stay,” Todd said.
Coleman Ubl, animal science freshman, is a site leader for an animal rescue trip to New Orleans. This is his first volunteer trip with the organization, and he said he is confident that it will be a fulfilling experience.
“I’m expecting it to be rewarding — I’m expecting to grow leadership skills,” Ubl said.

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