“This is the third year that LEAD has hosted Alternative Spring Break,” said Sara Phillips, Director of the LEAD Office. “The purpose of alternative breaks is to provide an option outside of a traditional spring break experience by traveling and completing community service."
This year, the Western group traveled to Chicago, Iowa and Kansas to explore topics relating to sustainability, conservation, identity, food systems and food security.
“Everyone going on this trip is from a diverse cultural background and each share a unique relationship with their connection to food and its significance to their own identities,” said Julian Cullumber, student leader. “One thing that we wanted to focus on when accepting applications for the trip was assortment among each of these student’s respective disciplines. We wanted as many different perspectives as possible and this group of truly fine students delivers just that.”
As Western is in an active pursuit of a zero-waste campus, the students' ability to see sustainability in action and get a new perspective on food systems will be an invaluable experience.
Giving to a community is another major theme for this year's trip.
“Serving [others] is something applicable to any situation, any community and to any person,” Cullumber said.
“If students are interested in Western’s alternative break trips, I would encourage them to try,” Phillips said. “These trips are great opportunities for students to meet new people, discover a new region of our country and spend intentional time engaging in service.”
Story by Caitlin Gleason. Photo courtesy of Ethan White.