$10,029.95

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This campaign ended on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.
There is a $5.00 gift minimum.


The Alternative Spring Break (ASB) Program at Emerson College began as a student leadership initiative in 1998 when six students and two residence directors spent spring break working with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation in Westmoreland State Park in Montross, Virginia. 

Over the years, this student leadership program has blossomed into a popular initiative. Alternative Spring Break is an opportunity for students to develop programs to learn about and from communities as they discover their own potential to contribute to community-based efforts. The program emphasizes the school’s core values of moral courage, celebration of diversity of thought and people, and commitment to ethical engagement, collaboration, and meaningful interaction with local and national communities. 



Now a hallmark program of The Office of Service Learning and Community Action, Alternative Spring Break accepts over 50 students annually for the past several years, and includes a low-cost Boston component available to all Emersonians. These volunteers return to campus to share compelling stories and new consciousness with their Boston and home communities. Many participants name Alternative Spring Break as one of the most transformative experiences not only of their Emerson careers, but also of their lives.

This campaign will enable 45 participants to pay for housing, transportation, and food expenses for weeklong service trips to Detroit, MI; Eagle Butte, SD; and Joshua Tree, CA. Through these service trips, participants will engage with and support youth on the Cheyenne River Reservation, work to alleviate some of the symptoms of urban decay in a once-bustling industrial metropolis, and aid in essential environmental conservation in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts.

Eagle Butte, South Dakota

Eagle Butte, South Dakota Participants will join forces with the Cheyenne River Youth Project, which works alongside the people of the Lakota Nation, to assist in the physical maintenance of the reservation, crafts, literacy, writing and wellness workshops for the children, and a "Passion for Fashion" show dedicated to empowering young girls. Through their work, students hope to gain a better understanding of what the Lakota culture represents and what our role as outsiders should be in preserving this rich cultural history, protecting its claims to the present, and paving a road for its future.



Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan participants will learn about the causes of urban decay, learn how community leaders and organizations are working to alleviate some of its effects, and work alongside these organizations to strengthen and improve their beautiful city. Through our work, we hope to contribute to Detroit’s prosperous future while learning strategies for fighting poverty, homelessness, and urban, blight that are transferable to our home city of Boston.



Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park, California participants will work to preserve our natural environment through trail maintenance, environmental conservation, and other hands-on projects that are increasingly dependent on volunteers after continued budget cuts to our National Parks system. As a result of our work, we hope to educate the Emerson community about the impacts of an individual’s choices on the environment and other peoples’ lives by learning about climate change and environmental degradation. 



Our National Parks are a treasure that provide a refuge for millions of people each year, as well as inspiration and a means of getting back to our natural roots. Helping to conserve something this beautiful and valuable can redeem the soul, the mind, and the body.  (or another quote from a website or that documentary)

As citizens, we have a responsibility to help those in need. We want to work together as one, and make a positive impact on the world, while learning about ourselves and our role in our increasingly global society.

Learning from our Experiences!    

Published on Monday, Mar. 17, 2014 at 10:37 AM (EDT)
We're back from our trips, and now have 24% left of our goal left to raise!
The Joshua Tree group had an amazing time during their service trip. They landed in LAX on Sunday March 9, and took off to set up camp at the Black Rock Campground.

On Monday we began our work, and met up with some folks from the National Parks Service and Americorps, as well as the SCA. We went out to the Jumbo Rocks Campground and in one day, working alongside Longwood University, we were able to plant 200 plants (all native species) in areas where vegetation had been worn away by off-trail walking.
On Tuesday, the ASB group split up, and some people went on a hike with more NPS volunteers to help monitor an experiment, while the other half of the group worked as "citizen scientists," recording plant data. This data was recorded along "transectional lines" or "transects," and will be monitored for what some say might be 100 years in the future! The reason for doing is this is so scientists will be able to monitor changes in plant behavior over the coming years in the face of climate change.
On Wednesday, the groups switched activities, while on Thursday, they went back to planting, putting another 200 native plants in the ground!
Take a look at a few pictures taken by the Joshua Tree group



In addition to seeing beautiful scenery, waking up with the sunrise, and feeling good about their conservation work, the group also found how long they could go without showers. A sort of competition during the week occurred, with some champions coming in at a total week without showering. 
After coming home, participants were maybe a little stinky, but they were happy to have made a difference.



Looking Back: The South Dakota Experience    

Published on Monday, Mar. 17, 2014 at 10:27 AM (EDT)
Our experience in Eagle Butte, South Dakota was, in a word, transformative. We spent our days aiding the Cheyenne River Youth Project staff in any way we possibly could, be it through playing with the children at the Main Center, competing in some (incredibly intense) basketball matches at the Cokata Wiconi Teen Center, cleaning the facilities, or preparing and decorating for the Passion for Fashion prom dress drive and runway show. We were fortunate enough to meet incredible Lakota people, who did not hesitate to share some of their traditions and expose us to a truly remarkable culture which, unfortunately, is not usually spoken for in our modern education systems. We consider ourselves lucky to have served the community and the CRYP, and have all been made better for it. 

Since returning, we have realized just how integral meeting our monetary goal really is. We're only about $2,100 away from our goal, with 2 days left of fundraising! Thus far, we have been inspired by the number of supporters and the amount of attention our campaign has brought fourth. We are confident that we can reach our goal with support from wonderful people like you. Thank you for helping us Branch Out!

ASB Detroit    

Published on Monday, Mar. 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM (EDT)
It's been a little over a week since coming back from Detroit. It was a life-changing trip that really opened my eyes.

I saw a lot of art while I was on trip, and it was so beautiful. In the first photo, as a group, we helped to clean up the "Artist Village."
Here are some photos below:






Growing Stronger    

Published on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014 at 10:44 AM (EST)
We’ve crossed the 50% line! Thank you to everyone that has donated or spread the word – we couldn’t have gotten to this point without you! We are so grateful to everyone for their support!  

One of this year’s advisers, Ashley Tarbet ‘09 (Political Communications), returns to us as an alum and an Alternative Spring Break student leader in 2008 and 2009. Her experiences on ASB in 2008 still impact her life and career today:  

In 2008, Alternative Spring Break sent students on two service trips. Ashley traveled with a group of 20 Emersonians to Waveland, Mississippi to assist with clean-up and rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. The group worked with one family, Ken and Nora, to build a deck on their house (on 15’ stilts because they lived in a flood zone) so that Ken, who suffers from a degenerative muscle disease, can enter the house in his wheelchair when he becomes unable to walk on his own. The group spent time meeting families in the neighborhoods and offering needed clean-up assistance. Participants also spent time caring for young children at the family assistance center while parents filled out paperwork for housing and food assistance.  

The other group traveled to Washington, DC to work with Youth Service Opportunities Project (YSOP) on a variety of projects including: painting the interior of a men’s shelter, assisting a tenant with cleaning her apartment that was in danger of eviction due to hoarding habits, and sorting food donations for a local food bank. The communities served included McPherson Square and Columbia Heights.  

Here are some photos from their journeys:













You can view other photos from ASB 2008 in Mississippi and Washington, DC on flickr.

Finding Our Roots    

Published on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 at 09:25 AM (EST)
Thank you so much for helping us reach 30% of our fundraising goal in the first 36 hours of the campaign! It means so much to the Alternative Spring Break community at Emerson College that you believe in our cause!

Were you at Emerson in 1998? Then you might remember Emerson’s very first Alternative Spring Break! The first service trip we have on record in the office took students to Westmoreland State Park in Montross, VA. The group spent the week assisting with wildflower seed-bed preparation, trail improvement, beach cleanup, and fence installation. Little did they know, they were also setting the foundation for 15 more years of service trips all over the nation.
It is your support that keeps ASB going and has enabled us to expand the program.

Let's take a walk down memory lane…











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Ashley Tarbet DeStefano

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Christina Bartson

Claudia Casteneda

Gave $50.00

Linda Rowe

Gave $25.00

Eric Svendenberg

Gave $20.00

California Pizza Kitchen

Gave $217.63

Tom Cooper

Gave $20.00

Saus Boston

Gave $67.32

Anchor Brewing Co

Gave $230.00

Lynda Conlan

Gave $20.00

Teresa Gordillo

Gave $50.00

Pat Peyton Martell

Gave $600.00

Christine Nguyen

Gave $100.00

Virginia Schonwald

Gave $30.00

Brandon Penny

Gave $200.00

Katie Woods

Gave $25.00

Sophie Meucb

Gave $10.00

Matthew Carney

Gave $25.00

Phillip Glenn

Gave $50.00

Cathryn Edelstein

Gave $50.00

Miranda Banks

Gave $25.00

Jennifer Despres

Gave $50.00

Gabrielle Rossetti

Gave $10.00

Sam Seidel

Gave $150.00

gregg croteau

Gave $25.00

Beth Parfitt

Gave $25.00

Paige Trubatch

Gave $25.00

Robert Nesson

Gave $50.00

Tim Walsh

Gave $10.00

Heather Kile

Gave $5.00

Diane Boyd

Gave $25.00

Barbara Salina

Gave $25.00

Jan Ford

Gave $150.00

Stacie Rabinowitz

Gave $10.00

Linda Sloane Kay

Gave $50.00

Kellee Hearn

Gave $50.00

Kim Bartholomew

Gave $50.00

Robert Salina

Gave $25.00

judith lytle

Gave $25.00

Gail Piccinni

Gave $25.00

Patricia Hoeg

Gave $25.00

Hanna Finchler

Gave $10.00

Caitlin Bueller

Gave $25.00

David Griffin

Gave $25.00

Robyn Mather

Gave $50.00

Suzanne Hinton

Gave $100.00

Donna Tuttle

Gave $100.00

Kathy Friedman

Gave $10.00

Joan Morton

Gave $100.00

Elaine McMillion

Gave $10.00

Julie Streeter

Gave $25.00

Tim Walsh

Gave $5.00

Patrick O'Neall

Gave $150.00

Jeffrey Schoenherr

Gave $100.00

Fran Froehlich

Gave $50.00

Kathy Bartson

Gave $250.00

Loree Mahalchick

Gave $50.00

James Braude

Gave $100.00

James Braude

Gave $100.00

Connie and Bud Thompson

Gave $50.00

Cheryl Cook

Gave $25.00

Constance Moser

Gave $20.00

sean brookes

Gave $10.00

Ricki Weaver

Gave $100.00

Nancy Manns

Gave $25.00

Linda Gallant

Gave $50.00

Edward Ryan Jr.

Gave $100.00

Eric Gudmundson

Gave $10.00

Casey Eisenreich

Gave $25.00

Eleanor Simon

Gave $150.00

William Cowin

Gave $50.00

Irene Elensky

Gave $10.00

Irene Elensky

Gave $10.00

MaryBeth Ferris

Gave $10.00

Jolene Anderson

Gave $10.00

Carol Hinton

Gave $100.00

Paula Perrone

Gave $25.00

Martha REDDINGTON

Gave $25.00

FELIX RODRIGUEZ

Gave $100.00

Craig Thompson

Gave $25.00

Jan Shelley

Gave $100.00

Nancy Cervoni

Gave $25.00

Nancy Manns

Gave $25.00

Steve Nagler

Gave $25.00

Audrey Geis

Gave $20.00

Dan Buick

Gave $25.00

Louis Mykoff

Gave $100.00

Kevin & Tina Macauley

Gave $25.00

Jennifer Spilly

Gave $100.00

Jeannie Hannigan

Gave $25.00

Taylor Kearns

Gave $50.00

Josh Cutler

Gave $25.00

Maria Van Uum

Gave $25.00

Shaunagh McGoldrick

Gave $10.00

Isabel Thottam

Gave $25.00

Adeline Gorlin

Gave $25.00

Sandra Bogert

Gave $50.00

Aimee Seligstein

Gave $40.00

Corinne Mykoff

Gave $50.00

Lynne Adams

Gave $25.00

Isabelle Redman

Gave $10.00

Elizabeth Rivera

Gave $25.00

Jocelyn and Jed Gorlin

Gave $50.00

Sue Rego

Gave $50.00

Eric Frishman

Gave $25.00

Nancy Howell

Gave $10.00

David Holway

Gave $500.00

Eric Van Vlandren

Gave $100.00

Alexis Fox

Gave $35.00

Heather Whitney

Gave $20.00

David Hoffman

Gave $100.00

Jennifer Greer-Morrissey

Gave $25.00

Keri Kinnaly

Gave $25.00

Patricia Saburn

Gave $100.00

Marin Amyotte

Gave $20.00

DONNA CAIN

Gave $50.00

Lauri Byer

Gave $50.00

lauren mcmahon

Gave $100.00

Danielle Reddy

Gave $25.00

Leah Driska

Gave $25.00

Carl Puehl III

Gave $25.00

Mel Webster

Gave $100.00

Ellen DeGenova

Gave $100.00

Rossana Perrone

Gave $25.00

Nicolas Warren

Gave $10.00

David Hebden

Gave $100.00

Julie Thompson

Gave $100.00

Brian Corr

Gave $50.00

Ashley Tarbet

Gave $10.00

Sarah Dwyer

Gave $10.00

Pam Delvecchio

Gave $100.00

Sarah Cadorette

Gave $10.00

Polly Carl

Gave $50.00

Michael Fitzgerald

Gave $100.00

Lucy Montoya

Gave $100.00

Andrea Hopkins

Gave $25.00

Anabel Ocasio

Gave $100.00

Matthew Racz

Gave $5.00

36 supporters have chosen not to be listed for Branching Out: Emerson College ASB.

Make an Impact

Seed

Give $5

A gift of this amount buys seedlings for Farm City Detroit.



Root

Give $10

A gift of this amount buys a book for the Cheyenne River Youth reading program.



Bud

Give $25

A gift of this amount pays for a health screening at the Motor City Resource Center.



Stem

Give $50

A gift of this amount pays to maintain a yard of trail in Joshua Tree National Forest.



Trunk

Give $100

A gift of this amount buys one section of fence to protect a natural habitat.



Canopy

Give $250

A gift of this amount buys a glamorous night of fashion and female empowerment at the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s Passion for Fashion event.



Pollinator

Give $500

A gift of this amount pays for travel to a destination to engage in this meaningful service during spring break.