Welcome to Lauren Gallagher's Personal Fundraising Page!

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Thank you for visiting my page and showing support for Alternative Spring Break at Emerson!

I will be spending this spring break on the Lakota Native American Reservation in South Dakota. I am going on the trip with 12 Emerson students and we will be working alongside members of the local Youth Center. I was immediately drawn to this project because of my past experiences and interest of working with underprivileged children. This has been and remains to be my motivation to serve. In South Dakota, I will be working with children who deal with the everyday battles of poverty, alcoholism and suicide. I hope to be able to act as a positive influence and help them in any way I can, while also becoming immersed in the Native American culture and meeting new people.  

Any donations or awareness spread about our trip is greatly appreciated, thanks again for visiting my page!

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This campaign ended on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014

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 02:37 PM (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.



Link to this Update
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Ashley Tarbet DeStefano

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

Make an Impact

Seed

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

Root

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

Bud

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

Stem

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

Trunk

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

Canopy

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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

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