RU offering alternative spring break service opportunities

For students looking to do more than relax over spring break, the Radford University Office of Community Engagement (OCE) is supporting several opportunities to get involved in community, social and environmental projects.

Community Engagement’s Alternative Spring Break annually provides students with unique opportunities to immerse themselves in short-term experiences that can change the lives of the participating students and the people and communities they help.

This year, Community Engagement is offering four alternative spring break opportunities:

  • Environmental restoration in the Hiwassee River Watershed, western N.C.
  • Wildlife rehabilitation on the rural coast of North Carolina
  • Urban renewal and local sustainable development in Washington, D.C.
  • Mountaintop removal site restoration, Pike County, Ky.

Applications for the Alternative Spring Break opportunities will be considered upon receipt. Visit RU Alt Breaks online for more information and directions about how to apply for the experiences.

Community Engagement offered its first alternative spring break project in March 2011 when 12 RU students journeyed to Lockhart, S.C. to revitalize the spirit and beauty of the town facing economic hardships.

“Alternative spring breaks are wonderful opportunities for students to get needed work done in a community while also gaining new perspectives about themselves and the social or environmental issues facing that community,” explained Tim Filbert, assistant director of the Office of Community Engagement. “RU students on past trips have always developed great friendships with other students on the trip as well as the community leaders and residents they'll get to know.  These are powerful learning experiences.”

In addition to Alternative Spring Break, Community Engagement is offering six students the opportunity to go as a team to the William & Mary - The W&M Active Citizens Conference Feb. 14-15. All expenses will be paid. Visit RU Team – Active Citizens Conference for more information and application directions.

Community Engagement also is encouraging students to apply for the Social Innovation Program (SIP) at George Mason University this summer. The intense four-week institute is designed to educate the next generation of social entrepreneurs. The first early deadline for the program is Friday, Jan. 31. Interested individuals may register online.  Many RU students have participated in the SIP program.

Filbert and the Office of Community Engagement are encouraging sophomores and juniors who are committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy or Native American healthcare to apply for Udall Scholarships. The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation expects to award 50 scholarships of up to $5,000 and 50 honorable mentions. For more information, visit the foundation's website. The application deadline is March, 2014.

RU’s Office of Community Engagement facilitates and offers opportunities, support and resources for students, faculty and community partners to connect around service and civic engagement. This work seeks to foster the growth of students as mature, socially responsible and well-educated citizens who can engage with their communities to help create a more just and fair society.

Jan 28, 2014