2014-2015 Alternative Break Issues
This experience will focus on the issue of refugees: persons who have been displaced due to natural disasters, persecution, or warfare. In 2013 there were 16.7 million refugees around the world. The United States welcomed a record number of refugees (69,930) in the same year, most of them from Iraq, Burma, Bhutan, Somalia and Cuba. Since 1989 6,300 refugees have come to Chittenden County. This experience will focus on helping refugees become acclimated to living in U.S. society.
This experience will address the issue of food insecurity in the United States. In the U.S., 1 out of 5 children live in a house that struggles to put food on the table and over 49 million Americans are classified as food insecure. During this experience, we will focus on education pertaining to food-related issues in the U.S. and connect the problem of food insecurity to other social issues such as poverty, unemployment, specific demographic characteristics and lack of education about sustainable and nutritional food sources. This experience will be specifically focusing on attaining access to affordable and nutritional food in urban settings and food deserts.
This experience will focus on topics concerning health issues from HIV/AIDS, to politically sponsored torture, to drug abuse, to nutrition. This experience will connect to a variety of prevalent issues and concerns locally and globally.
This experience will focus on the issues facing LGTBQ+ youth. Four in ten teens that identify as LGBTQ+ say that their community is not accepting of LGBTQ+ people. During the experience, we will be educating communities and assisting youth that identify as LGBTQ+ with problems such as homelessness, poverty, and depression.
International Human Right to Clean Water
Ometepe, Nicaragua All over the world, people are fighting for basic life necessitates, including health care, clean water and sustainable homes. During this experience, we will be traveling to an international location to work on projects that will provide a community with clean water and other basic human needs. This experience will develop a healthy relationship between Johnson State College students and a small village community, through manual labor and community interactions.
Work: Digging, more digging, and some more digging; installing pipelines for water travel to villages that do not have direct access to h2O; and working directly with community members to achieve a common goal.
Mid- Atlantic Border Collie Rescue (MABCR), Chestertown, Maryland This domestic experience will directly deal with issues surrounding animal advocacy and community-building. In the last decade, this organization has hosted alternative breaks, making each experience unique. This organization works to promote animal care education, animal safety, and adopt animals to new forever homes. While on this experience, teams will work directly with the animals, on various projects that help to maintain, strengthen and grow this very special organization.
Work: Building, cleaning and painting kennels; planting trees, plants and landscaping farm grounds; adopting to new families; and bathing and playing with collies.
National Parks Service
Prince William National Forest, Virginia The National Parks Service was created in 1916, and has grown to be a national representation of our country’s history. With over 401 national parks, seashores, forests and monuments around the country, it is the American people’s responsibility to help ensure their future and keep the NPS strong. While on this experience, teams will work on environmental issues within the national site. Through preservation and restoration, this experience will help fulfill the NPS mission and vision.
Work: Invasive species removal; trail management and clean up; and repairing and securing foot bridges and walking paths.
2012-2013 Issues of focus include:
- Disaster Relief
- Rural Poverty
- National Parks
2011-2012 Issues of focus include:
Food Justice & Youth
Farm at Walker Jones, Washington DC
This trip took place on an emerging urban farm that serves children, families and neighbors and has raised over 3,000 pounds of food in its first growing season. The Farm at Walker Jones serves the greater community in which it resides, but it is, first and foremost, an extension of the educational hopes and dreams for the students of Walker Jones Education Campus. It is an outdoor classroom where experiential learning integrated into the school curriculum happens side by side with the social and emotional education required to train the leaders of tomorrow. At Walker Jones, they educate the whole child, and that includes reminding that child that the foods they eat are as important as the books they read. The focus of this trip was on organic farming and promoting healthy lifestyles and activities among children.
Catalina Island Conservancy, Catalina Island, CA This domestic trip took place in a unique location that has been ravaged by wild fires over the past decade. The purpose of the Conservancy is to preserve native plants and animals, its biological communities and its geological and geographical formations of educational interest. Service included trail construction and maintenance, building fence enclosures, non-native plant removal, fire recovery and protecting endangered native plant species.
Arts & Special Populations
Camp Baker, Chesterfield, VA This domestic trip took place at a camp that has offered day-long and afterschool programs for individuals with special needs since 1929. Service included supporting campers and providing an abundance of ‘camp style’ projects.
Clean Water Solutions
Ometepe, Nicaragua Clean water is soemthing most of us don’t consider until the power goes out, yet many communities around the world do not have access to clean water on a daily basis. This international teip to Nicaragua focused on connecting local residents to the main water supply and water conservation education. JSC community members did intense physical labor to ensure clean water access to families. See more about this trip on the Notes From Nicaragua blog. The group also ran into Willem Lange while in Ometepe; read about his work here.
Questions? For more information, contact Krista Swahn at email@example.com or 802-635-1478.