Some Miami University students plan to make a difference during their spring break, March 5-9.
- Ambassadors For Children (AFC) has prepared for its trip to rural, impoverished towns in Jamaica: according to AFC member Amanda Weber, “the program partners with orphanages, schools, at-risk youth programs, and international humanitarian organizations to provide basic necessities, medical and dental care, educational support and constructive cognitive and social development for disadvantaged, abused and abandoned children.” The 22-member group will also bring 50 pounds of donations per person. In addition, half of the participants will complete a personally designed capstone experience in children’s health and wellness. Karen Montgomery, professor of teacher education and program director, says, “we are honored” to have the people there support and welcome AFC. Follow the participants via their blog.
- Alternative Spring Break (ASB) will send 30 students to Charleston, S.C., to serve in the community. The students will volunteer at Eagle Harbor Ranch, a refuge for orphaned boys ages 6-18, to help clean and beautify the campus. The group will then work with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to assist in rehabilitation for natural habitats.
- Traveling not too far from home are students from Miami’s regionals. The Center for Civic Engagement at Miami Hamilton will be hosting its annual Community Action Poverty Simulation Monday, March 5. The simulation is an interactive experience where students can learn about social issues facing Hamilton and how to address them collectively. Participants in the simulation will be divided into “families” and given details about their family circumstances. Volunteers in the simulation will act as resource providers. The families will work together to acquire basic necessities with limited money over four 15-minute “weeks.” The simulation is open to the public but does require participants and volunteers to RSVP by contacting Jessica Toglia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Members of Cru at Miami will have the opportunity to attend two different spring break trips. One trip is to Panama City Beach, Fla., while the other is to Eastern Europe. About 50 students going to Panama City Beach will attend a conference known as Big-Break where they will learn how to share their faith with others and practice doing so. Six Cru students and five staff members will go to Podgorica, Montenegro, with the hope of starting a partnership with a university. “This will be our first exposure to the universities there, but will give us a lot of important information,” said Kevin Timmons, president of Miami’s Cru.
- The Campus Ministry Center is also organizing a trip for those wishing to help others during their break. About 20 students from the center will be going to New Orleans to rebuild homes and businesses as part of hurricane recovery work.
- Twenty-one students will participate in an alternative spring break government leadership conference in Washington, D.C., through Miami University’s Government Relations Network. It provides students with a first-hand look at how an individual can impact government and how government impacts an individual. Participants are provided unfettered direct on-site access to alumni and friends who advise some of the nation’s key decision and policymakers.
- Engineers Without Borders (EWB) takes its first trip as an organization to Chaguarpamba, Ecuador. This trip is the first of the next five spring breaks planned to this location to complete a water treatment program for the small town of 1,000 residents. “Chaguarpamba faces issues with their drinking water. The water contains bacteria and parasites, among other impurities, from what we know so far. Residents drink the water and get sick, which causes them to miss days of work and school,” student leader Trent Compton explained. Six students will travel this year, and the three juniors attending will be able to use this experience as their senior design capstone course upon completion of next year’s trip.
- Another student group on Miami’s campus, the Navigators, will be leading approximately 30 students to Tampa, Fla., to do service work.
- The Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship (OARS) has joined Miami’s Government Relations Network alternative spring break trip to Washington, D.C. OARS is sponsoring 12 undergraduate researchers and a group of faculty mentors to take part in a research "Posters on the Hill" event. Students will discuss the research opportunities at Miami during a series of Capital Hill office visits during the day, and they will be presenting the details of their undergraduate research projects as poster presentations during the evening event.
written by Megan Douglas and Melanie Henterly, interns, university communications and marketing