The Center for Service Learning and Community Service offers SUNY Oswego students many opportunities to volunteer and travel, including Alternative Breaks. SUNY Oswego collaborated with Habitat for Humanity and took its initial trip in 2003. The program has been very successful and has good number of participants.
This year, SUNY Oswego students are going on five Alternative Spring Break trips all over the United States. In the past years, students have helped these programs:
- Headstart – Bridgeton, New Jersey
- Carolina Tiger Rescue – Pittsboro, North Carolina
- Habitat for Humanity – Florence, Alabama
- Habitat for Humanity – Waterloo, Iowa
- Operation Southern Comfort – Ongoing Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort
Junior Communication major, Allison McGinley, is going to Waterloo, Iowa. It is McGinley’s first time being involved in the Alternative Spring Break program. This experience will be one to remember, due to the fact that she doesn’t have any experience when it comes to building houses.
McGinley’s task for her spring break will be roofing and putting up the side of the house that she is helping build. Although this task seems challenging and impossible for inexperienced students like her, McGinley has heard “many good things about this program” and she is ready to take on this task. She is proud to be part of this upcoming trip. McGinley knows that she and the others involved in this program will be creating a direct impact to someone’s life, and that is what makes everything special to her.
Alyssa Amyotte, the Oswego Alternative Spring Break coordinator, said the benefits of this volunteering opportunity offers students more than just wonderful, long-lasting memories. “It’s affordable, but you still get to travel and it’s rewarding they get to help people,” said Amyotte.
The trips expenses range from $125 to $150, which is considerably less than other trips. Alternative Spring Breaks give students a chance to step out of their comfort zone and explore the world of the less unfortunates in different communities. Building houses is challenging, but the accomplished feeling that students get after seeing smiles of the people they have helped makes their hard work worth it in the end.
This year, there are 72 students participating in Alternative Spring Break. With this program, students were also able to travel to Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, as well as cities within the United States. These trips offer students with meaningful and self-fulfilling experiences.