Oregon Tech students just returned from an Alternative Spring Break trip to San Francisco, serving the local community
For the third year, Oregon Tech students set off on a service-based Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip to San Francisco last week, helping serve lunches and engaging in local initiatives to promote native garden habitats and beatification to stimulate the community.
The trip is part of the University’s Campus Life Volunteer Owls (V-Owls) program, which organizes service-based trips for students each year during Spring Break and also Summer Break this year. Projects this year included serving at a local rescue mission, assisting with clean-up projects, and working with the Golden Gate National Park on beautification projects.
“I’m so lucky to advise this group of students,” said Josie Hudspeth, Student Engagement & Leadership Coordinator for Oregon Tech’s Campus Life. “They jumped into the projects with energy and open minds. We were able to see the city and get in touch with different organizations and the neighborhoods they serve. Service-related travel can help students create connections and broaden their world views to other lifestyles, cultures, and communities. Campus Life plans to keep the Alternative Break Trips in the schedule at a minimal cost to students in hopes that more students will take advantage of this fun and enlightening experience.”
After arriving in San Francisco, students started their first day at Glide, a program which requires 85 volunteers each day to accommodate their offering of three meals a day, 364 days a year, to the city’s poor, homeless and hungry citizens. Their mission is to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. The organization can serve up to 2,400 meals per day to the community, and Oregon Tech students assisted with each step of that process.
Children’s Garden, Golden Gate National Park and Alcatraz Historic Garden Habitats
After serving at Glide on Tuesday and Wednesday, students worked at the San Francisco Botanical Garden to assist the Children’s Garden with general weeding, planting and mulching. The Children’s Garden is an area set aside for hands-on learning and activities for school programs. The group also teamed up with Presidio Nursery for gardening, trail maintenance and watering at Golden Gate National Park and worked with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy on gardening at Alcatraz Historic Gardens, which helps protect the sensitive natural habitats, sustain and improve the trail systems, and preserves important cultural resources.
After volunteer hours, students were able to participate in a more traditional spring break by exploring some of the sightseeing areas in the San Francisco Bay. They took a trolley ride around town, had dinner in Union square and Chinatown, attended a San Francisco Theatre production, and visited the Fisherman’s Wharf.
Samariel Hancock is a first time student participant of the trip: “I have never been on a trip where I was always so exhausted while having so much fun.” Samariel will graduate in 2020 with a degree in Renewable Energy Engineering and Electrical Engineering.
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. The Summer Break trip will be to the Teen Reach Adventure Camps in Sisters, Oregon to help at a camp for at risk young men and women.