Care breaks place SRU students in leadership roles

Published by adviser, Author: Megan Bush - Rocket Contributor, Date: September 10, 2015
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For the typical college student, spring and fall breaks mean trips to other places to have fun and relax, but for some students, spring break is a time to travel around the country, even around the world, and provide service and help to those who need it. These charitable trips are called care breaks.

Assistant Director of the Center of Student Involvement and Leadership (CSIL), Charlie Judge said care breaks are a great and alternative way to get a break from classes.

There are multiple care breaks every fall, winter, and spring for groups of students to travel across the country or even internationally to help provide service to various non-profit organizations in that area.

Laurel Dagnon, program director for community service, said that care breaks are incredibly beneficial to students who want a more humble and worldly view because these trips “put a face to the issue.”

Graduate Assistant at the CSIL, Alexander Rizzutto, said care breaks give students an opportunity to see the lifestyle of less fortunate people.

“Care breaks give students some perspective on just how different life can be for others,” Rizzutto said. “The trips show students that they are capable of making a different, and I believe that empowerment encourages them to continue making a difference long after the carebreak has ended.”

Rizzutto said care breaks are also great opportunities for students who want to get real-world volunteer experience and develop leadership qualities. Rizzutto recalled a trip to Chicago when his care break team worked with a church group that received a lot of donations.

“We didn’t know where to put them [donations] or what to do with them,” Rizzutto said. “

During the majority of the trip, Rizzutto said the chosen student lead, who was responsible for making sure the trip ran smoothly, was communicating with an organization that had tasks prepared for the students and systems for completing those tasks.

Rizzutto said all students who go on care breaks are in expected to embody the role of a leader as they complete their work with a good attitude and an appreciation and respect for the work being done.

Some upcoming carebreaks will be trips to Cleveland, Chicago and Washington D.C. in October of this year, and Jamaica and Bolivia in January 2016.

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