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Illinois State students enact social change during the 18th year of Alternative Breaks

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Illinois State students finished another successful week of volunteering through Alternative Breaks.

Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is a student organization supported by the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning that provides Illinois State with opportunities to enact social change. Alternative Breaks sends out five buses of 45 people every year during spring break. Past participants have helped Hurricane Katrina victims by working with KaTREEna in New Orleans, built homes with Habitat for Humanity in Georgia, served individuals leaving the prison system in Texas, and more. Students also have one free day during their trip to enjoy the sites in their host city.

This year, Illinois State sent students to Paradise, Texas; Paragould, Arkansas; Sacramento, California; St. Louis; and New Orleans. In addition to ASB, students seeking this experience can choose Alternative Winter Break (AWB), Alternative Summer Break (ASuB), and even Alternative Weekends.

Senior nursing major Maggie McKeating was a trip leader on the trip to support Living Lands and Waters in St. Louis.

“I wanted to become a trip leader because the Alternative Break program does great things for the communities we work with. You get to work with and meet amazing people, and each trip has positively impacted my life in some way while still being fun,” McKeating said.

This trip was McKeating’s third and final trip as a student. McKeating said she applied to be a trip leader in order to help support the next generation of Alternative Break students.

“I wanted to be able to give back to the program, help other participants get a positive experience, and gain leadership skills,” McKeating said.

Applications for the waiting list for Alternative Summer Break are now being accepted. This summer, the group will travel to Ngong Hills, Kenya.

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