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Alternative Spring Break supports youth development programs in underserved California community


(Chestnut Hill) – March 24, 2015 – Pine Manor College, a private, four-year, liberal arts college in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, continued its annual tradition of offering an “Alternative Spring Break” opportunity for its students. This year, students traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area to spend their vacation week supporting youth development activities in Richmond, California.

The Pine Manor team of nine students and two staff members participated in youth enrichment activities with the local Boys & Girls Club and assist teachers in the Richmond Public School District by working in overcrowded classrooms. The activities included tutoring, homework assistance, reading workshops, and arts, crafts and music activities, among other projects.In their down time, the team explored the Bay Area by going on side trips to see the Pacific Ocean and into San Francisco. The Pine Manor students raised 100 percent of the money needed to fund their trip.

Pine Manor’s Alternative Spring Break program is a service immersion experience for students and staff and the high point of a two-credit course offered by the college to foster social responsibility and community involvement. In addition to preparing students for their specific trip assignments, the course curriculum addresses broad service topics such as modern day disaster relief, community building, youth engagement, and grassroots fundraising.
“Pine Manor College strives to bring forth the message of being socially responsible individuals; whether that is on campus or out in their communities,” said Lisa Rodrigues,Director of Residence Life and Community Engagement,“Our students understand the importance of giving back. When they learn that going on this trip also means taking a class, they never second guess it and put in an amazing work effort equivalent of what they give to their traditional full-credit courses.They are always on board and are eager to learn.”

A large part of the course grade is the actual participation on the trip.In the weeks leading up to spring break, participating students conducted a variety of fundraising initiatives to cover the entire cost of their trip and build up awareness for their mission. Students are fully engaged for the entire travel week and also journal their experiences every single day while on assignment. They will document their experiences in Pine Manor College’s annual “Achievement Day” at the end of the academic year.

Previous alternative spring break trips took Pine Manor students to Louisiana for Hurricane Katrina relief work and to the New Jersey shore to help repair structures damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Over the past six years, over 60 Pine Manor students have participated in the program. This year’s trip is made in conjunction with the nonprofit partner Break A Difference.

The Pine Manor students participating in the 2015 alternative spring break program are:

First years:
Atiya Weaver from Washinton, DC
Rachel Julien from Brockton, MA

Claudia Charles from Boston, MA
Gregory Miles from Boston, MA

Ashley Pierimini from Lancaster, MA
Melanie Rosario from Lawrence, MA
Ruth Rosado from Manhattan, NY

Tiffanie Rosario from Lawrence, MA

For more photos from Alternative Spring Break 2015 Click here

About Pine Manor

Pine Manor is a private four-year liberal arts college situated on 50-plus wooded acres in the Chestnut Hill section of Brookline, Massachusetts, only a few miles outside of Boston. For over 100 years Pine Manor has provided a highly student-focused education and tailored mentoring grounded in the liberal arts tradition.