By HARLEE BOEHM
assistant news editor
Gannon University students will be participating in a variety of alternative break service trips (ABSTs)over the upcoming spring break in order to travel and gain new experiences.
Eight of the 11 trips coordinated by the Center for Social Concerns will be taking place during the weeklong spring break. The additional three trips will occur during May and June. During spring break, students will have the opportunity to travel to Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti, Ontario, Michigan and Florida.
Lizzie Raymond, a sophomore physician assistant major, will be going on the Guatemala trip during her spring break. Raymond said that she had many reasons for choosing to take this trip.
“Being able to travel and help people around the world has been something I have dreamed of doing my whole life,” she said. “To me, helping others is my happiness; it helps me feel better and closer to other people.”
Raymond said that she would recommend that students get involved in one of these trips.
“These trips are an amazing way to experience cultural diversity and gain a whole new level of respect for others and yourself,” Raymond said.
Two trips to Mexico will take place during this break. The first trip will be at the Mision de Amistad. This trip will focus primarily on economic and community development, as well as access to health care and education.
The second trip will take place in the L’Arche house. This trip will focus on people with and without disabilities. Students will learn about community building with these individuals.
The trip to Guatemala at the San Lucas Mission will focus on economic and community development, access to education and health care and children. Students traveling to Haiti will focus on environmental concerns, fair trade and access to health and education.
The trip to Ontario will allow students to focus on dignity for and community building for people with and without disabilities. Students traveling to Michigan will be focusing on food security, sustainable food systems, urban agriculture and dignity of work and worker’s rights.
The trip to Ruskin, Fla., will focus on power-based violence and human-trafficking.
Sara Nesbitt, program coordinator for the Center for Social Concerns, said that there will be a total of 82 students traveling during these trips, which includes the 15 student leaders.
Nesbitt said that, through these trips, students can gain a perspective that is unique to this type of experience.
“Students should expect to learn to see themselves and the world in a new way,” Nesbitt said.
Nesbitt said that students’ economic situations should not hinder their drive to participate in these experiences.
“We work hard to make these trips accessible to all students, so if these sound exciting to you in future years, but you aren’t sure you can financially swing it, apply anyway,” Nesbitt said.
Students are encouraged to take these trips in order to gain knowledge and see the world in a new way.