Learning Partners are integral to our ongoing effort to create transformative experiences by helping students learn about the social issues and culture of the areas to which we travel. Each trip is led by a student team leader who handles responsibilities such as contacting the community partners and sharing logistical information with the team. It is our vision that the Learning Partner will not serve as another leader, but as an active participant who will:
- Add educational value to the trip by contributing life and professional perspectives
- Serve as a mature influence to encourage students to make wise choices
- Act as a resource for team leaders and other team members by providing advice and support
- Build relationships with the students while in a non-traditional role
- Encourage long term relationship between the ASB Club and other Lafayette offices
- Act on behalf of the college in an event of an emergency
- Handle team finances in accordance with the trip budget provided by the club while traveling, including the completion of an expense report upon returning from the trip
- Review and uphold all college policies associated with travel advances and expense reporting
- Maintain an attitude of leadership and professionalism, even while interacting with students in informal and personal environments
The Learning Partner can have as little or as much involvement with the group as he or she desires. The teams meet approximately 5-7 times prior to the trip. While attendance of Learning Partners at the meetings is not required, it will aid in trip preparation and group building.
ASB is a student organization whose purpose is to coordinate service trips that take place over winter and spring breaks. All of our trips are alcohol and drug-free to provide an alternative to the stereotypical “spring break” and to ensure we provide the best service possible to the organizations with whom we serve. Our mission is to empower the Lafayette College community to create positive change and foster passion for civic engagement through alternative break experiences.
If you are interested in becoming a learning partner, please contact me directly for more information about the process at firstname.lastname@example.org or at extension 5653. I look forward to the possibility of partnering with you to create meaningful learning experiences for our students.
Please be aware that ASB operates on a limited budget which requires us to seek free and discounted housing and low-cost meal options. Our housing arrangements often require our participants to sleep on cots in group facilities with shared kitchen and bathroom space. In addition, we often purchase groceries and cook our own meals on a limited daily food budget. With that being said, part of the ASB experience is to step outside our comfort zones to enter into the difficult work of service. For many of the people with whom we are serving, the week-long ASB-like living arrangements are the reality of daily life.
“I volunteered as a Learning Partner for Alternative School Break programs in March 2015 and 2016. With both teams, I found a strong emphasis from the student leader on learning and understanding the context of our site and our topic for the participants before, during, and after the trips. Students from different class years, different social circles, and different backgrounds, came together to learn and volunteer around critical issues impacting society today and I was fortunate to able to support them in managing those experiences. I knew a few of the students before the groups formed, but many students I was introduced to for the first time at our pre-trip meetings. Over the course of the week, we learned a lot about each other as well as the sites where we were engaged each day. I value the opportunity to learn more about these societal issues personally, as well as to share from my own knowledge when that could contribute to group discussions. I am sorry to say that I missed out on these type of opportunities when I was an undergraduate, but providing support to the students and the student leaders who are leading these programs has absolutely been a worthwhile and rewarding experience.”
Tim Uhrich, Assistant Director of Residence Life
Team FITting In – North Carolina, March 2015
Team When the Saints Go Marching In – New Orleans, March 2016
“The ASB Trip to El Salvador was outstanding! The students were phenomenal; our reflections and bonding were powerful; the work we did was super; the travel arrangements were fine; and OPAT was so good to work with. Everything about the experience was top notch!!”
-Father George Winne, 2014-2015