UDaB participants work on an urban farming project in Baltimore.

UDaB trips return

UD Alternative Breaks complete fourth successful year

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11:37 a.m., April 14, 2014--UDaB, the alternative spring break program at the University of Delaware, has sent service trips to communities in need since 2010. This spring, more than 200 students were involved in various volunteer projects throughout the United States. They have returned with many stories and lessons learned to share with the University community.

This year’s participants will be attending a Return Event at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, in the Rodney Room of the Perkins Student Center to share their experiences and reflect.

Campus Stories

Measuring milk

Nutritional anthropology students expanded their research on milk by conducting lactose measurements in UD's Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory.

Flowering partnership

The official opening of the gardens adjacent to the governor's mansion in Dover, Delaware, featured several plants and trees donated by UD Botanic Gardens.

All students are welcome to attend and learn more about the service work UDaB does on spring break.

UDaB, now in its fourth year, has increased the number of trips from five to eight, and hopes to increase that number again for spring break 2015.

On spring break 2014, students traveled to Washington, D.C. to work with preschool students, Florida and New Orleans for disaster recovery work, Detroit to work with the issues of hunger and homelessness, Philadelphia and Baltimore for urban environmental/farming work, West Virginia to work on health issues, and New Jersey to partner with Habitat for Humanity.

Students returned from these trips with their minds opened and their perspectives changed. 

“If I were to be asked what my biggest accomplishment in life is thus far I would, without a doubt, say my UDaB trip to Vineland, N.J.,” said sophomore Ali Miller of the Habitat trip. “I was able to come out of my comfort zone to help others in need.”

Miller has good reason to name this her biggest accomplishment -- the mayor of Vineland was so impressed with UD students’ work that he named March 31 “University of Delaware Day” in the city.

While Habitat for Humanity focused on building a home for a specific family, students on the Detroit trip focused on the issue of homelessness and its effects on a community. Junior Kristy Connor was one of the 40 participants on this trip who learned a lot from the experience.

“Poverty is not a quick fix, but rather a vicious cycle. I always wondered why someone never did anything about that; then I realized, ‘I am somebody.’ I am so thankful for my experiences this past spring break and I am so hopeful for the future of Detroit and the future of this world,” Connor said.

The eight UDaB issue areas ranged from arts education to urban farming, but the lessons UD students learned are all the same.

“I am amazed at how much I learned in just one week, and the other people on the trip were such hard working and compassionate people,” said junior Amilee Bishop, participant on the Urban Farming trip. “I am very thankful to the UDaB program for providing so many students with the wonderful opportunity to give back to the community, and to bring their new understanding of the issues facing many of our neighbors back to this campus community.”

To view pictures and videos of the week, visit UDaB on Flickr or Shutterfly. UDaB has also created a Storify article documenting the trips and their individual service experiences.  

Those interested in learning more about UDaB can connect via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or visit the Service Learning website for updates and information.

Photos by Evan Krape and courtesy of UDaB

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