Meredith Glick: UConn Alt Breaks

 

 

Her Campus UConn had the pleasure of speaking with Meredith Glick (center), a UConn senior who is an assistant director for the Community Outreach Mystery Alternative Spring Break! Read all about her experience here:

Name: Meredith Glick

Year: Senior Major: Psychology

Minors: Criminal Justice & Sociology

Other Involvement on Campus: Alpha Epsilon Phi, Pencils of Promise, America Reads

How did you get involved with Alternative Breaks and Community outreach?

I applied to the Mystery Alternative Spring Break on a whim last year and I absolutely fell in love. The people that I interacted with and the topic (disaster relief) had such a huge impact on me that I was motivated to not only remain involved in Community Outreach, but also join other programs and apply for a leadership position.

How would you describe an alternative spring break for those who are unfamiliar?

An alternative break is the best week/weekend of your life. You have the opportunity to live amongst the community for that amount of time and have a hands-on service experience that will not only change the population, but change you as well.

Can you tell us about the alternative break you are directing now?

Currently, I am the Assistant Trip Director for the Mystery Spring Break. This year's topic is migrant workers, which is a population that Community Outreach has never worked with before. We are traveling to Immokalee, Florida because it is home to one of the largest populations of migrant workers in the United States. Many people are unaware of the slave-like conditions that surround this community, so our goal is to raise awareness and explore why there is a lack of healthcare, education, proper housing, monetary resources, etc.

What all goes into directing an alternative break?

There's a lot of work that goes into an alternative break, but it's all worth it. There are meetings with coordinators and staff members, trainings to attend, and the research is never done. One of the most important parts is finding the service to do and setting up community partners (organizations we work with while on the break). I also meet with the Trip Director, Brandon, almost every day to go over things for the break, and we are always in constant contact.

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience with alternative breaks?

The most rewarding experience has been having a hand creating this year's trip. Since Community Outreach has never been to Immokalee or worked with the migrant population before, Brandon and I have the unique experience of really creating a trip that is our own and setting the bar for trips in the future.

[Meredith working during last year's alternative break]

What would you say to students who might want to get involved with alternative breaks/direct an alternative break in the future?

DO IT. Seriously though, anyone who is considering being involved in an alternative break should absolutely sign up. There really is something for everyone. If you like smaller groups, there are weekend trips, but if you're a fan of more people and spending an entire week involved, then a weeklong trip is for you. Some of the issues that are covered include homelessness, poverty, HIV/AIDS, public health, and environmentalism. They're affordable too! Applying to be a leader in alternative breaks will be the most rewarding experience you have in college because you not only get to give back to a community, but you can also give back to participants and help shape their experiences. Without a doubt, alternative breaks will absolutely change your life for the better, I promise.