Ready for a (ASB)reak

Rice students are busy—busy with classes, labs, studying, jobs, volunteering, and friends. After several months here, students are ready for a break!  While many college students look forward to spring break as a week to get away from school and relax, at Rice, one special program gives Rice students the opportunity to engage in communities and keep busy during this week in spring: Alternative Spring Break!

What is an Alternative Spring Break (ASB)?  An ASB is a community-service and experiential learning project that groups of Rice students engage in during their spring break.  This year, the Community Involvement Center at Rice is organizing 17 ASB trips around the United States that deal with a variety of issues ranging from homelessness to wolf conservation.  If you want to read more about the ASB trips this year, click here!

The trip I am a part of is called Cara a Cara (Face to Face): Understanding the Stories Behind the Issue of Immigration.  During spring break, I will travel with 11 other Rice students (and 2 student site leaders) to Alamo, Texas, a small town in the Rio Grande Valley.  In Alamo, we will build bookshelves for a library, assist teachers at local education centers with lessons in English and health, and help staff members at immigration centers.

To prepare for our trip, my ASB has been meeting weekly to discuss our goals and plans for our week in Alamo, including how we’d like to structure our time in classrooms in Alamo.  We’ve also been fundraising to help finance our trip; we’ve written letters to family and friends to tell them about our trip and ask them to donate, and we’ve sold hot chocolate and hot tea during cultural shows at the student center at Rice.  So far, our meetings and fundraisers have been nothing short of successful!

ASB has been one of my favorite parts about Rice.  Even during breaks, Rice students have the opportunity to engage themselves in communities, apply their studies at Rice to issues in the real world, and bring their experiences back home to Rice.  If you have any questions about Alternative Spring Break, feel free to ask!

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