Spending time with the club members, elementary to high school ages, allowed us to interact directly with the people we were helping. Conversations revealed their dreams of attending schools like MIT or NYU and majoring in subjects such as architecture or art. Activities showcased their impressive talents whether it was jamming to The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” reciting the multiplication table as fast as possible, or even cutting out fancy snowflakes. Watching a place like the Boys & Girls Club provide a positive, encouraging environment presented a heartwarming sight. Here, kids are safe to develop their creativity without limitations and pursue their dreams as they desire.
Alternative Breaks was a wonderful way to kick off winter break. Traveling across the country with a group of strangers for a community service trip seemed a little daunting in the beginning, but this initial thought was almost immediately dispelled. Our group felt comfortable with one another from the start but by the end of the week, it was as if we were all old friends. This trip also proved the importance of volunteering. There is always more that can be done to help progress a community and dedicating a few hours of time can get much accomplished. I'm grateful for this opportunity to make new connections, learn from experiences, and step outside of my usual comfort zone to help out others. My experience with Alternative Breaks not only made me realize that I can actually withstand 30 degree weather, but that a single individual's effort can truly make a difference.