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By Alexander Saunders

As APPLES Service-Learning recruits applicants for the spring semester 2024 Alternative Spring Break program, which includes a course component, we reflect back on one of the spring break adventures from 2023

During the spring 2023 semester, undergraduate students embarked on a journey to Robeson County as part of the APPLES alternative spring break program offered at UNC-Chapel Hill. There, the students met with a variety of community partners and leaders and engaged in direct community service.

One community partner students visited was Donna Lowry, CEO and founder/director for Caring Touch Outreach Services in Pembroke, North Carolina.

“It is so important to volunteer and give back your time and talents,” says Lowry.┬áStudents helped her organize boxes and distribute food to underserved populations in the county, and even helped organize the home of a local community member.

Avery Baker, senior, communication studies and public policy, was one of the trip leaders for the Robeson County experience and had previously participated in a 2021 alternative break. “The theme was violence prevention and I absolutely loved it,” says Baker. She adds, “my experience motivated me to become a trip leader to gain more experience in rural communities and learn more about the different assets they had.”

APPLES Alternative Breaks provide an avenue for students to perform service activities across North Carolina and be away from campus during the university break periods each semester.

Specific trip themes for spring 2024 include:

Violence Prevention: Students on this trip will explore challenges to and steps towards violence prevention in North Carolina, including access, education and more.

Rural Communities: Students work with local organizations to gain a better understanding of education, health and infrastructure issues that affect rural communities in North Carolina.

Apply for the 2024 Spring Alternative Break Trip

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