Gannon students spend spring break giving back

Gannon students spend spring break giving  back

Every spring break, Gannon University offers students the chance to participate in alternative break service trips.
This year, the Center for Social Concerns has put together 11 trips in all, with destinations including Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti, Ontario, Michigan, Delaware, Washington D.C., Florida and India.
These trips are designed to help students make a difference and participate in something that they are passionate about. Many of the students who attend these trips come back feeling fulfilled and as if they are making a positive change in the world.
The trip to Mexico will focus on community and economic development and access to health care and education.
One of the main goals of this trip is to enrich the lives of young girls living in Merida, Mexico. This will include helping them increase their educational opportunities.
Meredith Gursky, a senior social work major, will be the student leader for this trip.
“I applied to be a student leader for this particular ABST because I wanted to challenge myself,” Gursky said. “Additionally, working with individuals with intellectual disabilities at L’Arche will challenge me. This is not an area that I feel 100 percent confident. It will definitely take me out of my comfort zone in a good and necessary way.”
The students who are participating in the trip to Mexico are set to depart early on Saturday.
Another trip will be going to Ruskin, Fla. The attendees of this trip will focus on working with victims and survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence and other types of abuse or trafficking.
This year will be the first ever trip to Ruskin, as it is one of the new trips being offered to students.
Through this trip, students will be learning about power-based violence. Students will also take part in an activity with the victims, which is designed to help boost self-esteem. This will ultimately be aimed to make a difference in the lives of the victims of these situations.
Overall, this trip will focus on improving the quality of life of the victims, as well as building them up.
The trip to Ontario is focusing on dignity for and community-building with individuals with and without disabilities.
The alternative break service trips are supposed to allow students to work to improve lives of others and people who may be struggling. The students who participate in these trips are looking to make an impact and a difference in a huge way.
Ruby Rodriguez, a freshman marketing management major, thinks that these trips are extremely important.
“I think alternative break service trips can make a huge difference in the world,” Rodriguez said. “The students that attend seem very passionate about what they are doing.”
Brandon Saraniti, a freshman occupational therapy major, expressed his feelings toward these trips and their outcomes.
“I think after experiencing an immersion like this, you begin to learn what is truly important in life,” Saraniti said. “I’m starting to really understand now that giving is much better than receiving.”
Trips like these are offered through the Center for Social Concerns at Gannon every year. Students are highly encouraged to take the time to participate in this type of service at some point of their college career.
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