Jersey Shore

Tomorrow is my first ever ASB trip. As I pack and wash my clothes for the week ahead, I can’t help but to think what my friends are doing now. Are they back home taking 12 hour naps? Are they on their way to some exotic resort or heading to the beach to enjoy the heat? This and more runs through my head even as I write this article. So I ask myself, “Should I have done any of these things for my first ever college spring break?” The answer is no.

Although these things are the popular things to do for spring break, I want something different; furthermore, I want something meaningful. Now sleeping for 12 hours is great and all (I love sleep!) but doing service means more to me. It means giving back and that is something I love doing. It is something I’ve been doing since middle school and I certainly don’t want to stop now. College is supposed to be a place where we not only learn from distinguished professors and scholars but develop a better understanding of those around us. Now that is something ASB has to offer.

It is a trip that takes a group of volunteers to a location and does service for a week. A week dedicated to not only understanding our community around us but giving back as well. It is a week filled with laughs, smiles, and of course, service! This week should be one for the books. I couldn’t ask for a better way to start my first ever college spring break. So in a choice between sleep, beaches, and ASB? I’ll take ASB. That’s something that’s truly priceless.


Alternatives that make a Different-ASB New Jersey

I am so excited (and nervous) about my upcoming ASB trip tomorrow.  I made this trip to Newark my first choice when selecting trips because I found I was identifying with working with those that experienced the devastation of Hurricane Sandy because I lived that storm being from Long Island, New York. My family and our home was effected but not to the extent of those in New Jersey. I also am interested in rebuilding in several senses of the word. I am looking at possibly majoring in engineering and this experience may help me explore that further but it would also help me understand how rebuilding requires active citizens. The element of creating a documentary about the effects of media also raised my interest as it would allow for me to explore how to teach others about giving back to community.

Now that I have learned more about the trip and about meeting others with similar interests as me, I am even more excited. I am going with 11 other Lafayette students and we are going to work with many others to make a difference – this spring break is going to be more than a break – we are going to make a difference and I am so excited to be a part of it – catch up with us in Newark and see what we can do!

Rebuilding After Sandy

Our team is leaving for our trip to the Jersey Shore tomorrow morning in order to work with United Way to help clean up and rebuild from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. On the eve of our departure, I have had a lot of time to reflect on what this trip truly means for me. Even though I have participated in similar service trips in the past, this trip is personal for me in a way that no other service experience has ever been.

I was born and raised on Long Island, one of the regions that was ravaged by the hurricane and is still trying to recover from it. The storm struck when I was here at Lafayette and prevented me from having the opportunity to get home and be with my family during this trying time. Though my family was fortunate enough to only lose power for a few days, other families were not as lucky. For some, the power didn’t come on until a month later. For others, the power never came back on, as their houses were completely destroyed by the storm. Sitting here at school that week was one of the most difficult times in my life because of all the uncertainty that I knew existed back at home. Were my friends and their families alright?

I’m going on this trip to do what I believe is my part in the rebuilding process. It is my hope that I can give of myself this week in a way that I was unable to last year. I want to contribute to this massive rebuilding process that has served to show just how much resolve the people of New York and New Jersey, in addition to all those affected, truly have. It has been a trying process for many of these people and offering our time can hopefully encourage them to continue along this path towards recovery.