Alternative Break Service Trip (ABST), GIVE Day, Day of Caring.
All of the aforementioned programs are Gannon University staples, known and loved by the students, faculty and staff alike.
However, what many may not know is that each of these events is organized and executed by the Center for Social Concerns (CSC).
The center, founded in 1988, celebrates its 30th birthday all year long.
Inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, the center equips students and campus colleagues to engage with Gannon’s communities.
They aim to do this through purposeful experience, exploration and action for the common good.
The CSC is led by Jessie Badach Hubert, associate director, Sara J.H. Nesbitt, program coordinator and Allison Hauck, assistant director.
While ABST, GIVE Day, and Day of Caring are among the center’s most well-known programs, it also organizes Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, interfaith initiatives and postgraduate opportunities.
These efforts helped the center achieve the Carnegie Classification in 2015 as well as be recognized on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll continuously since 2008.
Alternative Break Service Trips, better known as ABSTs among the Gannon community, are trips that occur over spring break and the first weeks after school finishes that sends students out into needy communities to serve.
The trips are led by students and are based on four pillars of service – service, simplicity, community and reflection.
They aim to immerse students and broaden their world-views while fostering global citizenships through service and relationship building.
The trips seek to create intentionally inclusive, diverse community through their group formations.
For the 2018-19 academic year, the Center for Social Concerns is sponsoring 16 different ABSTs.
Across these 16 trips, a collective 120-plus students will be traveling domestically and internationally.
Locations include Detroit, Washington, D.C., Guatemala, Mexico and Zambia, among others.
Each trip is approximately a week long and focuses on a different theme.
Every September, more than 400 students gather in the Hammermill Center, in the Waldron Campus Center, outfitted in matching shirts and equipped with an excitement to give back.
Gannon’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere, or GIVE Day, is hosted annually in the fall and is a day for faculty, staff, alumni and students alike to volunteer and serve in their communities.
On GIVE day, groups spanning across campus, including Greek Life organizations, clubs and self-made groups, can be found serving across the Erie community.
The day gives Gannon students the opportunity to be present in their community, meet real needs and support Gannon’s community partners.
Students can get connected with the Center for Social Concerns by visiting the office in Keim Hall in Waldron, or by getting in contact with Hubert at 814-871-5602.