Clemson students spend spring break volunteering
CLEMSON — Students in several Clemson University organizations are taking spring break trips next week, but they won’t be going to the beach. They’ll be spending their time off volunteering to help others.
The Clemson Panhellenic society, an organization for Greek life on campus, will be working with buildOn, a nonprofit organization, to help build a school for a community in Nepal.
Brianna Lombardozzi, assistant director for Fraternity and Sorority Housing, is leading 14 Panhellenic members on this trip. This is the second school that the Panhellenic society has built through the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation and buildOn. The first was in Senegal in summer 2015.
Also traveling overseas are four undergraduate students and assistant professor Arelis Moore de Peralta. They are going to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to continue working on their Creative Inquiry project “Building Healthier Communities in the DR.”
They will conduct a workshop to help the Las Malvinas II community develop a community health improvement plan. It will bring together representatives from government, education, nonprofits and an association of private industries. The students will draft the plan when they return.
“I am super excited and proud of my students,” de Peralta said. “They had demonstrated that it is possible to assist with efforts to promote health and well-being abroad by building respectful, productive and cross-cultural relationships through research and academic collaborations.”
Ten members of Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries will be returning to Haiti where they will be gathering data for other members of the team, which has made many trips to the country. They will assess the Cange Municipal Water System and medical equipment at some hospital systems.
Clemson FCA, a religious organization, will be making a trip to Baltimore, Maryland. There will be 502 Clemson students working alongside local churches and nonprofits helping with construction projects and a homeless ministry.
“It is so incredible and encouraging to see 502 students are going with us and see the benefit in pouring out of time and energy so that the good news of the Gospel that we believe can be shared with others,” said Collin Armstrong, Clemson FCA president.
The Clemson Navigators, another religious group, will take 42 students to Hilton Head Island to serve with numerous service organizations. Much of the Navigators’ work will be Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. They also will provide tutoring, elderly care and food pantry service work.
Other Clemson students opted to participate in the Alternative Break Program’s service trips:
- The Community Development and Urban Poverty group will take five undergraduate students, one graduate student site leader and one staff learning partner to Roanoke, Virginia, repairing homes, serving at-risk children and volunteering at a thrift store that provides free clothing to families in need.
- The Educational Access and Migrant Workers program will bring eight undergraduate student participants, one graduate student site leader and one staff learning partner to Immokalee, Florida, to work with the Guadalupe Center in its Early Childhood Center and Afterschool Program.
- The Food Insecurity trip to Asheville, North Carolina, will include six undergraduate students, one undergraduate student site leader and one staff learning partner. The volunteers will work with the YMCA of Western North Carolina’s Healthy Living Programs at its food bank, cleaning the pantry and stocking and serving food from a mobile kitchen and market.
- The Ableism trip will travel to the Appalachian Trail with four student participants and one faculty learning partner to assist Jacqui Lowman in her quest to be the first paraplegic person to through-hike the Appalachian Trail. The students will help as she hikes the first part of the Appalachian Trail starting in Georgia.
- The Women’s Issues and Youth in Crisis group will take nine undergraduate students, one undergraduate student site leader and one staff learning partner to Nashville, Tennessee, to work with various women’s and children’s groups in the community.
- The Community Development program will take 15 undergraduate student participants and one staff learning partner to New Orleans, Louisiana, in honor of the 10-year celebration of Clemson’s Alternative Break Program.