Rocky Mount, N.C. – A group of nine North Carolina Wesleyan students and four members of the College’s faculty and staff spent its (Alternative) Spring Break volunteering in the mountains of Ashe County. While most college students opted for fun and sun over the break, this group took the initiative to help improve the lives of others.
Projects included building a bench and painting rooms for the Alleghany Partnership for Children in Sparta, North Carolina, as well as painting and cleaning up the basement and yard of the Grayson Children’s Center in Independence, Virginia. In addition to the two aforementioned full-day projects, the members of the group had a chance to experience and reflect upon the area’s needs.
Along with providing volunteer services to local organizations, fun was had by all during the downtime! From spending nights completing a 1000-piece puzzle… to hiking in the woods… to making s’mores in front of the fireplace… everyone had a chance to bond and learn about others in the group, most of whom they did not know prior to the trip.
It was encouraging to see the members of this group branch out of their comfort zones and experience something new. As one student said, “Being able to take time out of my life and give something back to a group of people in need was a rewarding experience.”
It was also evident that the students did not view the experience as work. As one staff member stated, “It was great to see the students working. We never had to ask twice for someone to do something, and it was great to hear no complaints.”
North Carolina Wesleyan College is aiming to instill the values in students that generate strong, compassionate and accountable citizens. The Alternative Spring Break trip is just one example of a chance for students to have the experiences necessary to become leaders in their communities.