Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 01:32 pm est

Alternative breaks provide students with unique opportunities

Posted on March 28, 2014 | by Kate Marin

Avital Glibicky/WSN

Over spring break, Dennis Keselman helped further the steps of the building of a hospital. Fanny He helped reinforce the value of education to children in low-income communities.

Keselman and He, both CAS juniors, participated with other NYU students on Alternative Break trips.

Through the Alternative Breaks Program, students have the opportunity to give back to those in need. These organized trips, which run during both winter and spring breaks, offer groups of students the chance to see impoverished communities and volunteer to help better the lives of the countries’ inhabitants

The locations of this spring’s alternative breaks trips included Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New Orleans and Hillsboro, W. Va., as well as Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

Keselman and his alternative breaks group went to Hillsboro to work with Patch Adams’ Gesundheit! Institute and help create the first holistic health center and hospital in the rural community. The students worked together to plan outreach and marketing strategies that would ultimately contribute to the construction of the hospital

“Throughout the week, we might’ve not been directly building a hospital at Gesundheit!, but we were still living Patch’s dream,” Keselman said. “Patch Adams is all about the idea that life is full of joy, and a life without joy is worse than a life full of sickness.”

The students said the trip was an incredibly powerful experience. To document the daily activities of their trip and reflections on their work, the students kept a blog throughout the week. In his blog post, Keselman described a feeling of happiness and passion brought about by his time working in Hillsboro.

Further south, He’s group volunteered with the Head Start program in New Orleans. The students worked with preschoolers from low-income families while also learning about the economic damage Hurricane Katrina wreaked on the community. Years later, many are still struggling after the hurricane and preschoolers face the challenges that come with constant displacement and economic loss.

He said the experience was extremely opening.

“I learned a lot about the culture [of the community],” He said. “I think education was the biggest thing I got out of the trip, learning about everything there and learning about myself and others through reflection.”

Kate Marin is a staff writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next