Grand Valley Magazine Summer 2016 - 21

(N OT YO U R AV E R AG E ) An initiative that began in 1991 by a handful of students who sought to spend their spring break giving back is celebrating a major milestone this year. UP O R G NT E D U S T E S T A R CELEB RS OF 25 YEA IMPACTwilley T E V I by Leah T I S PO 1 TRIP 6 PARTICIPANTS 24 TRIPS 230+ PARTICIPANTS Alternative Breaks, the Grand Valley chapter of the national organization Break Away, turns 25. The group has evolved into a student-run, widespread civic engagement program that plans trips around the country during weekends and breaks in the winter, spring and summer. The trips focus on social issues, including community health, affordable housing, animal rights, and youth and poverty. The student organization was established in 1991 when the Office of Student Life initiated volunteer opportunities for students under the umbrella Volunteer GVSU. The group was overseen by Jay Cooper, then associate director of Student Life and now associate professor of education. The first Alternative Breaks trip was in 1992 at Cabrini Green, a public housing project located on the north side of Chicago. Students performed duties such as cleaning and making repairs. They also interacted with residents, which was an important part of the trip, said Cooper. "The whole point of the initiative was to provide an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in an area, serve the local community and reflect on their experience, and that's exactly what they did," he said. 21 Grand Valley Magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Grand Valley Magazine Summer 2016

Campus News
Donor Impact
Q&A Erika King
Not your average spring break
Life stories
Off the Path
Fall Arts Celebration
Alumni News

Grand Valley Magazine Summer 2016