College students from across the country are trading text books for tool-belts as part of United Way of South Mississippi’s 8th annual Alternative Spring Break (A.S.B.). This year, around 25 student volunteers will have the opportunity to engage in South Mississippi communities through hands-on service projects.
From March 17th to 21st, students from 13 different states and 19 different schools will spend the week working on projects throughout the Mississippi Coast, including community beautification, income-based housing construction, and youth-focused educational programs.
“We are very excited and grateful to host these students and show them the hospitality of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, all while they lend a helping hand to influence the condition of our community,” said Juliane Molesworth, Director of the Volunteer Center at UWSM.
The week-long program includes meals, lodging, daily team volunteering projects, and United Way engagement opportunities, as well as nightly activities to showcase local food, culture, history, and the unique fabric that constructs our community.
“A.S.B. not only has a positive impact on the Gulf Coast, but it also creates a long lasting impression on those who are a part of the program. Volunteer Center Director, Juliane Molesworth said “If this week is anything like last year’s week of Alternative Spring Break, it will be a wonderful experience filled with stories of new friendships, meaningful accomplishments and lifelong memories. As a matter of fact, we have had four former participants move to the coast to serve in local non-profits.”
Former A.S.B. participants have left the Mississippi Coast with much more than volunteer hours. “During my week at A.S.B., I made incredible friendships and learned so much about myself,” said 2012 participant, Lindsey Martin. “A.S.B. can change your life, if you let it.”