News

DelVal Students Volunteer During Spring Break

Feb 21, 2008

Six Delaware Valley College students will spend their spring break as part of United Way's Alternative Spring Break 2008, beginning on March 10.

As part of Alternative Spring Break, a national initiative developed by United Way, the students will visit Hancock County, Mississippi, one of three communities hosting programs.

"In the last two years, the Alternative Spring Break Program with United Way of America has brought together America's youth to help rebuild the Gulf Coast after the destruction of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ivan," said Christine Mikulski, Assistant Director of Student Activities at Delaware Valley College, who will accompany the students on the trip. "Their role will be to help reconstruct houses and help restore the lives of families who lost so much in the storms."

After a comprehensive application process, the six Delaware Valley College students selected to participate in this year's trip include freshmen Deanna Rubino of Toms River, NJ, and Nicole Maurer of Tobyhanna, PA, who both major in small animal science; and Kimberly Bergen of Hillsborough, NJ, who majors in  animal science with a specialization in equine science and management; sophomores Casey Kissel of  Yardville, NJ, who majors in small animal science and Elizabeth Schechner of Havertown, PA, who majors in biology with a specialization in zoology and junior Samantha Bremer of  Highland Lakes, NJ, a Biology major with a specialization in zoology.

According to the United Way, participants of past ASB events were often so moved by the scenes they witnessed in the Gulf Coast and their realizations that they were able to make a difference that they have become dedicated to community engagement. In a survey after ASB 2007, 84 percent of participants reported that they were more likely to volunteer in their communities after their ASB experience. Within three months of the event, 40 percent of them had already followed through on that pledge. They also remain committed to ASB. This year, 27 percent of last year's participants are returning, generally as team leaders this time around.

"We continue to build on the groundswell of compassion and commitment of Generation Y," said Brian A. Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way of America. "We're extending service projects beyond the Gulf Coast because there are communities across the country that have pressing needs that can be addressed through thoughtful, focused and committed volunteer work."

As part of their crucial support of United Way's campus engagement efforts, Deloitte and FedEx, two United Way National Corporate Leaders, are lead sponsors of Alternative Spring Break 2008, and CheapTickets will join them as a promotional partner supporting the program with travel.

To follow the efforts of those participating in Alternative Spring Break 2008 during the month of March, please visit http://blog.unitedway.org/asb. For more information about United Way and Alternative Spring Break, please visit www.unitedway.org.