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Oregon Tech Students Trade the Beach for Volunteering in San Francisco

Apr 22, 2015
Alternative Spring Break students traveled to San Francisco, helping serve lunches and engaging in local initiatives to promote native garden habitats and beatification to stimulate the community

Every year, Oregon Tech students set off on a service-based Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip, and this year was no exception. Students this year traveled to San Francisco, helping serve lunches and engaging in local initiatives to promote native garden habitats and beatification to stimulate the community.

“It’s so great to be able to organize these trips and provide students with an opportunity to explore a new place and serve the community,” said Josie Hudspeth, Student Engagement & Leadership Coordinator for Oregon Tech’s Campus Life. “Service-related travel can help students create connections and broaden their world views to other lifestyles, cultures, and communities. Campus Life is happy to provide an avenue for these experiences at a minimal cost to students and hopes to continue the Alternative Break Trips for years to come.”

ASB2015On this trip, students worked with organizations such as St. Anthony’s Foundation, where they helped serve lunch, bus trays, clean the dining room, prep meals for the following day, and visit with guests as part of the organization’s outreach to the Tenderloin district, which also provides narcotic and alcohol recovery and work experience programs.

Students also became involved in projects with St. Mary’s Playground and the Golden Gate National Park, helping plant native trees and shrubs and completing trail maintenance to promote local beauty and habitat restoration.

ASB participants also spent time at the California Hotel, site of People’s Grocery project, which is a food activism organization that plants gardens in impoverished neighborhoods for residents to learn about sustainability while providing a food source. The People’s Grocery project provided an orientation on the social and economic history of the California Hotel and the community currently living in the building and the neighborhood. The mission of the organization is to work with the residents to promote community, healthy lifestyles, and independence from systematic inequality.

In between volunteer activities, students were able to explore some of the sightseeing areas in the San Francisco Bay. They visited the Fisherman’s Wharf, the Palace of Fine Arts, walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, and went to the beach, Chinatown, and Union Square.

Dental Hygiene major Jennifer Sierra shared her experience: “I had a great time during the spring break trip! I learned that there are many resources out there for people who don't have the income or resources to support themselves, and I am very happy to have been able to volunteer and help these people even if it was just for a week. My favorite part of the trip was walking on the Golden Gate Bridge!”

ASB trips help Oregon Tech students gain a better understanding of the world and of themselves and encourage continued community engagement and volunteer work upon returning home.

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