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Drake offers first official alternative spring break trip

Six Drake University students traveled to Appalachia on Drake’s first official alternative spring break trip March 13-19.

Though service trips had been organized by other campus groups, such as Habitat for Humanity in the past, this was the first organized by the Office of Student Life.

“Over the past few years we’ve been working to evolve the volunteer opportunities available through our office,” said Tasha Stiger, director of campus programming. “We’ve had many students express interest in going on service trips, so we knew there was a demand for this type of experience.”

First-year student Katherine Elder, who has previously participated in service trips through her church, said she appreciated the alternative spring break option provided by Drake.

Drake students Colton Davis, Katie Elder, Michelle Markiewicz, Samantha Carlson, Lucy Stanke and Tanaya Thomas spent their spring break volunteering in Appalachia.

“I’m really glad that Drake offers opportunities like this,” said Elder, a biology and psychology double major. “It really encourages a culture of service on campus by making it easy for students to find ways to help other people.”

During the week of spring break, Stiger and the students built and restored a home for a family in Chavies, Ky., through the Appalachia Service Project.

“The trip opened my eyes to how there are many people less fortunate than myself in the world,” said Michelle Markiewicz, a sophomore health/science management major. “The family we helped during the week were happy and very appreciative for our being there.”