Since 2009, a group of Pine Manor College students have put their Spring Break week to use, working hard for the Common Good. Each March,students head to New Orleans to help restore the area after thedevastating impact of Hurricanes Katrina (2005), and Hurricane Isaac(2012). While there, the group volunteers with the organization GulfCoast Volunteers for the Long Haul, which not only works to rebuild homesfor people still displaced by the damage, but also tutors children inschools that are still feeling the effects of the tragedy.
As a service-learning experience, students participate in a class thatmeets before and after the trip, helping them to understand the social,political, environmental, and socio-economic factors that contributed tothe situation leading up to and after the hurricanes hit. Students doreflection prior to and after their trip, and process the experience as agroup while they are there.
This year, Lisa Rodrigues – Director of Residence Life and CommunityEngagement and Aisha Ellis – Campus Nurse chaperoned students TiffanyMedina, Regine Albin, Tanairas Flores, Tatyana Parham, Lacree Robinson,and Sheyla Sanches to New Orleans. The group was able to work on twohomes. We worked on Ms. Cynthia’s home for four days. The house was init’s foundation stage. We all learned how to hang drywall and went towork. On the last day, rooms had been defined by the walls that we hungand we were able to complete 4 out of 5 rooms! We also had the pleasureof working on Mr. Rod’s home during our off time. There we painted theoutside of his house, organized the inside, and truly got to know Mr. Rodand his years in New Orleans. On our last day the team put in all we hadleft to work on the St. Bernard headquarters which was also affected byHurricane Isaac. There the team laid tile, carpet, and also createdshelving for storage.
When the team wasn’t working hard on homes, we were able to explore thehistory of New Orleans, visited the Katrina Memorial, and enjoyed theamazing New Orleans cuisine!
All in all the experience was AMAZING yet again! The students raise 100%of the funds necessary to make this trip happen. Many resources‹bothfinancial and volunteer‹that were devoted to this area right after thehurricanes have now disappeared, but there is still so much to be done.Please consider donating to Alternative Spring Break! Any amount would beextremely helpful to keep this initiative going. Please contact LisaRodrigues – firstname.lastname@example.org for donations.
Enjoy the photos!