Alternative Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break profile pic
  • Category: Community
  • Description: The ASB project at RISD is unique in the sense that all of the students have a major hand in the design of the schedule and the outreach to the organizations. Most ASB projects involve students paying or signing up to be plugged into an already existing project or build. This is often run through a company or major non profit organization who conducts the same experience each week with different schools. At RISD the schedule is usually filled with a collection of different projects and organizations that the students determine through a process that involves researching a topic, conducting outreach to organizations, learning about the organizations' missions, needs, and resources, and collaboratively working with the non-profit staff to come up with unique projects that allow our students to bring their skills and personalities to new individuals while also learning from and creating dialogue with new communities. The hope is that the students come away from the project with a better understanding of community organizing, outreach, and communication. We want them to see the importance of reciprocal partnerships, open dialogue, and valuing the resources of individuals and communities. The students go into these projects knowing that they are not there to act as "saviors" or "experts" in areas that they are not. Instead, they understand that their role is to listen, learn, collaborate, and help empower individuals through encouragement and enabling of pre-existing resources. The schedules intentionally include elements of direct service, dialogue sessions, site visits, immersion activities, and daily reflection sessions so that participants are involved in a holistic week that gives them a comprehensive understanding of their experience and interactions.
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    • Service

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