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Spring Break of Service

Normally, my spring breaks go something like this: head back home, catch up with some friends, EAT, and flop on the couch thankful for not having to be productive.

Many students opt for a more typical college break by packing their bags to jet off to a hot spot like PCB, South Padre Island, or some lavish-south-of-the-border resort. 

This Spring Break, however, I vowed to do something unique and meaningful with my time off.

DePaul’s Division of Student Affairs offers Service Immersion trips during spring and winter breaks. Destinations include New Orleans, L.A, and even El Salvador. As Vincentians in Action, students engage in service, reflection, and solidarity in the community in which they are placed.

I applied to the VIA Service Immersion trip and got placed to do service in my dream city, New York. I was aware from the start that this wouldn’t be some touristy adventure. Instead, it’d be an opportunity for me to experience simple living and to promote selflessness. 

My one week trip included an 18 hour road trip with 9 other rad DePaul women, staying in a convent with limited heat, a neighborhood scuffle, tutoring high school students, and being in the midst of bustling Times Square. 

My biggest takeaway from this trip was the lifestyle I challenged myself to live. I packed minimal clothing, ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches regularly and was thousands of miles away from my cell phone and laptop. That’s right, I went a week without checking Instagram and texting my mother.

We all promised to stay in the moment, challenged ourselves in our own separate ways, and engaged in meaningful dialogue.

I encourage you, my fellow DePaul collegiates, to participate in an activity that really pushes you out of your comfort zone and typical life styles.

Experiencing life from another’s perspective really shapes you to be a well-rounded individual. 

Kayla is my name, and I'm an avid fangirl of many things, which is probably not acceptable at 23. I love brownies, ice cream, and brownies in ice cream. I also enjoy the fry of the week at the STU. Oh yea, and I study communication and media. DePaul University '17
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