Spring break brings service opportunities

Molly Begeman, Features Editor

The Center for Social Concerns and Global Exploration (CSCGE) ABST and TRAVEL trips are annual staples to many students’ spring semesters.  

This spring, CSCGE is hosting 10 ABST trips and seven TRAVEL trips to a host of domestic and international locations. CSCGE is also running two new TRAVEL trips — one to Croatia and Slovenia and one to Thailand.   

These trips are a pivotal part of many students’ Gannon experience and students look forward to them on their spring breaks and after a long school year.   

ABST trips are popular because of their affordability, service components and timing.   

Students that have participated in ABST trips have fond memories of their experiences.   

Skylar Parsons, a junior exercise science major, participated in the Detroit ABST working alongside Earth Works.  The group prepared the Hoop House and transplanted vegetables and herbs to areas that needed them.  

Students are drawn to these trips because of the service and how well the trips are planned out by CSCGE and their partners.  Parsons said that her trip was planned out well and that she and her group were prepared for changes that could have happened.   

We coordinated with Earth Works to figure out when we were going to serve, which helped us maximize our time and experiences beyond service,” Parsons said.  

Parsons is just one of the students that experienced an ABST trip last spring. Shelia Lang, a senior occupational therapy major, went to Merida, Mexico. 

Lang also said she would not change anything in the planning process or regarding her experiences during her time in Merida giving back to the community.   

Lang said that it was one of the best decisions she has ever made and that it gave her a once in a lifetime opportunity she would not get anywhere else.   

Students can also sign up for TRAVEL trips.   

Students who have attended TRAVEL trips also spoke highly about their experiences, although for some it was not always such a smooth and seamless process.  

Izzy Weller, a senior nursing major, described the planning process as chaotic and rushed. She was not on the trip she originally signed up for and chose to move onto one of the trips to Greece.   

Despite the planning process feeling rushed and chaotic, she spent her birthday in Greece on a boat tour around Naxos.  This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for her. 

“If I could experience it again all over again I would,” Weller said.  

Weller’s experience before departing was not ideal, while overseas her experience could not be matched.   

Regan von Richter, recent Gannon graduate who now works as the I-HACK operations and communication coordinator, was a member on the Australia TRAVEL trip last spring and spoke highly of her experience.  

Her planning process was much more seamless, she felt like she had more of a say in what they did and they were not as rushed to get the itinerary together.  She also said as a group they worked together and became a small community leading up to their departure.   

To prepare for the trips, groups conduct a weekly meeting.  

Von Richter said this is “building close relationships and working to plan out an entire trip with your group.” 

Von Richter said she would have loved to spend more time planning out her trip with her group.  

Students look forward to these trips and come out of their shells, try new things, create new bonds and make memories that will last a lifetime.


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