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Amanda Williams
UD photo by Sarah Simon

University of Delaware junior Amanda Williams of Bear was selected to join MTV's Alternative Spring Break (ASB) in southwestern Louisiana to help repair the damage from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. MTV, along with United Way, selected 100 students from more than 2,000 applicants across the United States to help rebuild schools, parks and homes in March.

When she arrives in Louisiana, Williams will stay in a community center and work with a group of 10-12 other students on a weeklong project.

Williams, a history education major, said she is excited about the opportunity to travel to the Gulf Coast. “I really like to help people,” Williams said. “I really want to get the education program [there] back on track and back where it was so students can get an education again.”

Williams said she was planning to travel to the Gulf Coast with her church group during her spring break, but applied for ASB in November after seeing a commercial on television.

Community service is a big part of William's life, she said. Active in Relay for Life and the March of Dimes, Williams also volunteers as an assistant cheerleading coach at Newark High School when she is not in class.

Williams said everyone can do something to help the hurricane survivors. “What these people went through is something we can't even fathom,” she said. “I think if people came together and if every person made a contribution, there still wouldn't be such devastation.”

Williams is now collecting donations to pay for building supplies. United Way will cover housing and food expenses, Williams said, so all donations go toward paying for materials.

Click here to make a donation. For more information, e-mail [mandalyn@udel.edu].

Media contact: Martin Mbugua, (302) 831-8749, [mbugua@udel.edu]
March 5, 2007