Making a difference with your spring break

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Students find constructive ways to spend Spring Break. (Photo by Wikipedia)

By Brett Abraham

On September 23rd, the Alternative Spring Break Lead Team made their final decision on the group of 19 students that they will bring on the trip during spring break 2015. Emails to those who have been chosen were sent out that day, informing the applicants of their acceptance.

“I lived the experience once, and it is extremely difficult to say that someone else isn’t allowed to have that chance,” Logistics Lead, Nora Ann Papageorgiou said of the selection process. “It’s an awesome opportunity and I want everyone to be able to do it, but that’s simply not a reality we can afford.”

Alternative Spring Break works with Habitat for Humanity and sends about 25 people a year to other states in order to build houses for families in need.

In order to be considered for this trip, each prospective member has to send in an application, and then go through a group interview process. After the group interview, the members are either chosen to go on the trip, chosen for a follow up individual interview, or removed from consideration.

As of now, the location for the trip has not been decided. “The site list was released last week [mid September], and once the Lead Team chooses a site that is best for our team, we will register for it in mid-October,” said Papageorgiou. Past trips include locations in Mississippi, Florida, and Texas.

Papageorgiou went on the trip to Lucedale, Mississippi this past 2014 spring break and was approached by the former Logistics Lead, who asked her if she had thought about becoming her successor. Papageorgiou figured it would be a good opportunity to further her leadership experience, and was excited to work on something she “truly believed in” so she took the position.

“Dedicating my Spring Break to working seems boring, but the trip is a wonderful way to make new friends and feel like you’re making a difference,” she says. “I couldn’t believe how life changing the whole experience was.”

Papageorgiou’s responsibilities include booking plane tickets, creating the packing list, and contacting the Habitat for Humanity site to set up food accommodations. She is also in charge of planning fun activities for the group during free time.

The other Leads on the trip are Head Lead Alexander Czuprynski, and Fundraising Leads Daniel McClenthen and Alexia Yuen, along with faculty members Kelli Lundgren and Jason Smith acting as advisors.

The next trip takes place March 6th-15th, during which the group will work with the local Habitat for Humanity to better the lives of the local community.

Various fundraising opportunities will occur throughout this semester to help bring in money for the trip.

The next one will take place during Family Weekend here at FSU: Alternative Spring Break Staff  will be in Hammond Campus Center on the street level Friday, October 17 from 12 to 5. They will have a table at the Fun Fair on Saturday, October 18 from 11 to 3:30 where they will also be selling apple crisp. The events are both silent auctions in which different offices on campus donate various themed baskets to be auctioned off. Past basket themes include, movie night, chocolate lover, Boston date night, sports, baking and snack time. Winners of the auction will be announced and contacted Saturday evening of the 18th.

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