Indianapolis spring break trip organized
Indianapolis is probably not a destination many people have in mind when they’re brainstorming ideas for spring break.
However, students will have that option for this year’s break. The Activities and Programs office is sponsoring an Alternative Spring Break trip, called “From Servant Leadership to Social Justice.”
Angie Bong, the coordinator for student leadership and organizations, said the trip will allow students to explore the issues of poverty and homelessness in depth.
“One of our primary goals is to humanize the issue, dispel some of the myths about poverty,” Bong said.
According to a university press release, students would spend six days in Indianapolis working with local partner sites such as the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, Wheeler Mission Ministries, and Rebuilding the Wall, a home-restoring charity similar to Habitat for Humanity.
Anna Spencer, a senior who participated in the trip last year, said she wanted to spend her time giving back to the less fortunate and expand upon her ideas of poverty. However, she said one of the aspects of the experience she enjoyed most was learning about the idea and philosophy of servant leadership.
“It’s less about being a power leader,” Spencer said, and more focused on creating a sense of community, whether it’s in a region, corporation, or non-profit organization.
“I want to employ that model in my life as much as I can,” Spencer said.
Sophomore Mike Falk, another student who went on the trip last year, said his conceptions about the homeless and people living in poverty were completely turned around. Getting oneself out of that type of situation is “not necessarily just about hard work anymore,” he said.
Falk also encouraged students going on this year’s trip to “go with an extremely open mind, and talk to as many affected people as you can.”
Students will have the opportunity to work alongside the beneficiaries of their volunteerism.
“These are real people with real stories,” Bong said. “Students get to learn first-hand about the people they’re helping.”
Bong said she hoped the experience didn’t just end when the trip did, and that students would take what they learn and bring that knowledge and experience back to Eau Claire, as one of the most important pieces in raising awareness here.
The Activities and Programs office is also hoping to expand the program in the future by taking more students or offering another destination, possibly somewhere in California, Bong said.
The opportunity to participate in the trip is available to any student, and the entire cost is $375. That price includes transportation, food, housing, and all group activities and supplemental materials.
Students can register until Feb. 11. A $100 deposit is required, and registration is limited to the first 20 students.