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Alternative Spring Break Presentations 2016

This March, over 70 members of the Emmanuel community served with the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, which sent three groups of students to service sites in Phoenix, AZ, New Orleans, LA, and Boston, MA.

Students and staff visited different service sites that including helping the homeless at Andre House (Phoenix), building houses for hurricane victims with The St. Bernard Project (NOLA), and the preparing healthy food options with Urban Food Project (Boston).

After each day of service students were given time to reflection and share their personal experiences at each service site. Each group was also given free time between service and reflection to explore and appreciate the culture of the community that they were serving.

A month after the trips, students, faculty, and family gathered in the Library Lecture Hall to present and celebrate the work completed by ASB participants.

ASB Phoenix

Staff Leaders: Ian Sonia, Greg Pare, Deirdre Bradley-Turner, Jill Meleedy

Student Leaders: Ashly Uss ’17, Peter Donato ’17, Tina Ascolillo ’17, Meaghan Carey ’18

The ASB Phoenix group stay with Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery, hiked South Mountain and explored Sedona. The group served at Andre House, a nonprofit organization sponsored by the Priests and Brothers of Holy Cross from the University of Notre Dame that serves the poor and homeless. The team worked directly with the Andre House staff doing office work, laundry, clothes sorting and distribution and food preparation and service.

They also served with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization. At St. Vincent, volunteers spent the week performing several different tasks, including: food preparation and service, working in their thrift stores, containerizing in their food bank and throwing an Emmanuel College Mardi Gras party!


Staff Leaders: Matt Berens, Jenna Gately, Mark Harrington

Student Leaders: Ian Chamenko ’17, Danielle Rose ’16, Caitlyn Reilly ’18

The NOLA ASB group spent the week working with the St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit organization that helps to rebuild the homes of senior citizens, people with disabilities and families with children affected by Hurricane Katrina who can’t afford to have their homes rebuilt by contractors.

To date, the organization has rebuilt 475 homes for residents in St. Bernard Parish that were still occupying FEMA trailers or other federal housing. The group also served with Villalobos, The Edible Schoolyard at Langston Hughes Academy, and ??????. In their free time the NOLA group took a ghost tour at the French Quarter, visited at Lake Ponchartrain and visited the World War II Museum.

ASB Boston

Staff Leaders: GRae Callenta, Tony Krzmarzick

Student Leaders: Jonathan Rowe ’16, Cherokee Belval ’17, Gabriela Taveras ’17, Emily Larkin ’18

The Boston ASB group that focused on “Food Justice,” a goal that seeks to ensure that the benefits and risks of where, what and how food is grown, produced, transported, distributed, accessed and eaten are shared fairly. During the week, the group worked with The Greater Boston Food Bank, The Food Project, Community Servings, The Daily Table, Emmanuel’s Urban Food Project and Mission Grammar School.

Through these service sites participants learned about healthy eating and sustainable farming. The participants also competed in a local cooking challenge where teams prepared healthy meals only using food from the surrounding community.

Emmanuel offers three Alternative Spring Break trips each Spring. If you are interested in participating in ASB, please contact Mission and Ministry. Applications for ASB 2017 will be available Winter 2016.

Anna Topping ’17 is a staff writer and the Social Media Editor of The Hub. She can be contacted at and on Twitter @annaytopping.

Posted by on April 5, 2016. Filed under Around Campus,Clubs & Organizations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.