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VSU Students Give Back Through “Alternative” Spring Break

Published date: March 12, 2013

While many college students see Spring Break as a time of beaches, partying and socializing, two groups of Virginia State University students and staff spent their break building houses, clearing brush, building bridges and hacking weeds. The groups participated in VSU’s Alternative Spring Break, volunteering from March 4-7 for Habitat for Humanity in Lucedale, MS and Shenandoah River State Park. 

spring break

Alternative Spring Break is a community service initiative where students spend much needed time off from studies helping others.  During the VSU spring break week beginning March 4, eight students from Virginia State University’s Honors Program, led by VSU’s Director of Service Learning and Civic Engagement Anne-Marie Turnage, spent the week rehabilitating a house for a local family.  The group also spent a day working on another new Habitat construction project in the county.  Coordinator of Campus and Community Outreach Billy Taylor led a group of 16 participants, who assisted Shenandoah River State Park staff with cleaning trails, building bridges and other maintenance.

This Alternative Spring Break Service-Learning project was a first for both the University’s Honors Program and Department of Student Activities. The projects embody VSU’s increased commitment to civic engagement, as well as the University’s mission to Building a Better World.

“I never thought one week could change my perspective on life, but Habitat for Humanity did just that,” said student Morgan Pollard.  I am so thankful for the experience of a lifetime that not only affected my life, but also affected the lives of the people I helped.” 

spring break

“The Alternative Spring Break embodies VSU’s message of ‘Building A Better World,’” said Director of Student Activities Menjiwe Martin.  “Our students are building that world, starting right here in Virginia.”

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