Eight WKU students recently participated in an Alternative Spring Break trip to work with Habitat for Humanity in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The March 7-13 trip, hosted by the Student Activities Office, was designed to offer students an opportunity to provide service to a community in need and allowed them the platform to engage in cultural and educational experiences. The students had the chance to not only rehab a home for a resident who spent two years on the Habitat for Humanity waiting list, but they also toured the University of Alabama, visited the Civil Rights District in Birmingham, cheered on the Hilltopper basketball team in the Conference USA tournament game against Marshall and dined at local eateries in Tuscaloosa.
“The biggest thing I took away from this trip is how important it is to be humble; it is so easy to forget how lucky we all are,” said Chelsea Spears, a freshman from Tompkinsville. “So, it really made me open my eyes seeing what the people of Tuscaloosa went through, and seeing that they all still had such positive attitudes. It will most definitely make me think twice when I feel like complaining from now on.”
Areas of Tuscaloosa are still rebuilding from a devastating tornado that occurred in April 2011.
Bowling Green junior Payton Taylor said her favorite part of the trip was being able to do manual labor, and she encourages other students to participate in service Alternative Spring Break trips as well.
“I think that my favorite part was going into the week thinking that I would be doing things like sweeping and painting, but it turned into us learning how to use power tools, roofing, installing drywall, and even constructing doghouses,” Taylor said. “This is a great opportunity to take a week to focus your efforts on other people and bettering their lives. It is amazing how one week of making repairs to a house can bring you closer to the group of people you travel with and how amazing and accomplished you feel on the last day! Not only that, but it is an awesome way to earn service hours while helping others and having fun!”
Other students participating in the trip were Torye Spinks of Bowling Green, Emily Pride of Bowling Green, Lauren Cox of Louisville, Kelli Fleming of Franklin, Rachel Byrd of Louisville, and Hannah Reed of Brownsville.
The Student Activities Office hosts service and cultural/educational trips during both fall and spring break. To learn more about these trips and the Student Activities Office, visit www.wku.edu/leadership_vol/ or contact Josclynn Brandon, Coordinator of Student Activities, at (270) 745-4434.