The Center for Community Engagement, Residence Life, and Center for Student Involvement hosted Montclair State’s Annual Alternative Spring Break. As part of the University days of service initiative, Alternative spring break provides students with a unique week-long experience to serve, network, and learn about the surrounding communities. Throughout the week 23 students served across 7 different sites, 4 cities, and accumulated 241.5 hours of community service.
Students came together to assist local non-profit organizations with stocking food, gardening, sorting donations, street clean up, and building renovations. Community partners included The Paterson Alliance, Paterson Full Service Community Schools, Wynona’s House, Father English Food Pantry, Eva’s Village, Camp YDP, Van Vleck House & Garden, Servant’s Heart Ministry, and Habitat for Humanity Newark. After service, students celebrated the work they accomplished with fun activities like; a trip to NYC to see “SIX’ the Musical, Movie/ Craft Night, and Tie-dying T-shirts. At the end of the week student volunteers were honored with a celebration luncheon hosted by Residence Life. Many of the students reflected on how they have grown through this experience and the impact Alternative Spring Break has had on their college careers. Each student was presented with a certificate of appreciation and pin.
“Being of service to the community has given me more fulfillment and joy than any good grade or job I have worked at in such a short amount of time. The work we all did these past few days has been incredible, and after hours of working I don’t just remember being completely exhausted. I remember being extremely happy that we all got to laugh, smile, and became friends during service.”