78 Stony Brook students participated in the Alternative Spring Break program and volunteered in Nashville, Tennessee, to help in community gardens, local food banks, and farms and community education projects.
For some Seawolves Spring Break is not equivalent to time off and relaxation, but hard work and dedication as they participate in the Alternative Spring Break Outreach program. ASBO, as it is known on campus, is a student-developed, student-run community service organization that strives to promote civic engagement and social action by involving students to “give back” their Spring Break in favor of contributing to community-based projects.
This year, 78 Seawolves and 3 staff advisors: Cathrine Duffy, Associate Director of Student Support; Christine Noonan, Coordinator of Evening and Weekend Programs; and Jessica O’Brien, Langmuir College Residence Hall Director, traveled south to Nashville, Tennessee, to collaborate with the Hands On Nashville organization on different projects around community gardens, food banks, and farms and educating the community on local, sustainable, and healthy food options. Timothy Ecklund, Dean of Students, also came down to Tennessee to volunteer for a day with the students.
In one week, these hard working Seawolves served with 12 different programs and contributed a total of 1,574 hours of service to the Nashville community. According to Adam Curtis, Urban Agriculture Project Manager at Hands On Nashville, these students were determined to make sure their volunteering time was utilized to the maximum!
“Many groups that come serve with us only want to spend a couple hours of their week in Nashville engaging in volunteerism, but I distinctly remember a call with you where you insisted that we pack as much service into the week as possible!” said Curtis.