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SUNY Plattsburgh Students Provide Service Through Alternative Break Programs

For a growing number of SUNY Plattsburgh students, Spring Break is not just about fun anymore. It's about giving back.These students are taking part in the college's Alternative Breaks program.

Photo of SUNY Plattsburgh students helping to rehabilitate a homeHelping Non-Profits Around the Country and at Home

During college breaks this year, SUNY Plattsburgh sent more than 100 students to 11 communities around the country.Students built homes for Habitat for Humanity in Jackson, Tenn.; Bridgeport, Conn.; and Greensboro and Macon, Ga. They worked with preschoolers at Head Start in Bridgeton, N.J., and took part in conservation projects at Mount Rogers, Va., and Naples, Fla. And they worked with a Neighborhood House in Pursglove, W.Va.; a therapeutic riding center in Grantville, Pa.;  the Heifer Project in Rutland, Mass., and Community Servings in Boston, Mass.Meanwhile, other students stayed in Plattsburgh, helping out right here at home.

A Fresh Perspective

View Alternate Spring 2010 Photo GalleryAshlea Keene, a four-time alternative breaker, found that the program "is like a renewal. The experience is so radically different from what we normally do. It gives us a fresh perspective on things.""These experiential learning opportunities help students develop a sense of personal identity and community, as well as an understanding of important societal issues," said Michael Cashman '03 G'07, student activities coordinator for the college. "Each trip provides the opportunity to meet new people, visit new places and learn new skills."Anna Zinko '09, explained her experience this way: "You become more emotionally invested in service. This is an intense experience. You actually live it; you can't go home and forget about it."What's more, these activities may help foster a lifelong habit of giving."In most cases, students who have participated in a program of this nature go on to further incorporate volunteerism and community service into their everyday lives," said Cashman.

Contact Information

For more information about service and volunteerism at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:Cori Matthews, Director of Campus Activities
Phone: 518-564-4830
E-mail: [email protected]

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