Oregon State University

Alternative Break - Report Out 2013

Alternative Spring Break 2013 Report Out

Three trips:

  • Yakima, WA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Ashland, OR
Yakima Trip Yakima Trip Yakima Trip
San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco
Ashland Ashland Ashland


A HUGE Impact:

Yakima, WA

  • A group of ten OSU students traveled to Yakima, WA, to uncover the human face and human cost of land acquisition, colonization, and immigration. During our week-long trip, we met with local activists, visionaries, and leaders, while completing six different service projects including painting a homeless shelter, running after school activities for at-risk youth, helping farmworkers in English language classes, completing beautification projects at the Toppenish Longhouse in preparation for their annual feast, and distributing food at a food bank.  The group had the remarkable opportunity to attend a traditional Longhouse service, visit immigrants’ homes to hear their stories, meet with the Major, the Police Chief, attend a Cultural fair at a local middle school, and learn more about immigration and activism from conscientious community members who are making a difference on a grassroots level.  Through examining our own privileges and learning from community members, we uncovered buried roots of our nation’s history and current immigration policy, unearthing stories that are often silenced, and exploring present and future implications for cultural groups in the United States.

“This trip has been so life changing and I honestly didn’t think I would get emotional, but I did and I guess it goes to show how much I do care and how much this trip has changed my life”

  • Total volunteer hours and educational hours
    • Volunteer: 245 service hours
    • Education: 120 educational hours

San Francisco, CA

  • The group volunteered at 8 different organizations that provide resources to those experiencing hunger and poverty in the city. Among several activities, the group had an opportunity to be guests at a weekly human rights workgroup meeting, sort clothing donations at a free clothing store, serve meals, advocate for housing rights, and, above all, share several laughs, tears, and conversations directly with the homeless population of San Francisco. Overall, the group learned of their own privileges and how to look past stereotypes to truly value a group of individuals whose basic rights are taken away from them daily.

“I am overwhelmed and feel so empowered by the overall experience of this trip. Not only have I learned so much about the issues of homelessness and poverty, I have also gained a new experience with working at organizations that helped me learn about myself as well.”

  • Total volunteer hours and educational hours
    • Volunteer: 189 service hours
    • Education: 63 educational hours

Ashland, OR

  • In Ashland, ten OSU students worked with three community partners on local environmental restoration and conservation projects during a week-long service trip sponsored by the OSU Center for Civic Engagement. Trip participants worked with Coyote Trails Nature Center, Bear Creek Watershed Council, and Ashland Parks and Recreation to mulch a community garden, widen a public hiking trail, install bird houses, restore riparian areas, and remove invasive species. In total, the group contributed 210 hours of service. Students also learned about food forests, water systems, outdoor living skills, and invasive species threatening the Ashland and Medford area.

"Through this ASB trip, I developed many new skills with working in nature. I have been enlightened by our community partners to respect nature and the environment around us."

Total volunteer hours and educational hours

  • Volunteer: 210 service hours

Alternative Break - Summer 2013 Report Out

One Trip:

  • Warm Springs, OR

Group at Smith Rock


One HUGE Impact:

Warm Springs, OR

Eight OSU students and one staff member spent June 17th to June 21st working with the OSU Extension Office in Warm Springs, Oregon for a community-based learning  alternative break trip. The Warm Springs Extension Office is the only Extension Office in the state located on a Native American Reservation. The group worked with five community partners projects during a week-long service trip sponsored by the OSU Center for Civic Engagement and the Warm Springs Extension Office. Trip participants worked with the OSU Extension Office, the Warm Springs Community Action Team, High Lookee Lodge Assisted Living Facility, the Museum at Warm Springs, and KWSO public radio station.  Cultural Engagement and Community Wellness was the theme of the trip. Projects included assisting in hoop house construction, landscaping work, building raised garden beds accessible to those using scooters or wheelchairs, and exhibit and trail maintenance. In total, the group contributed 148.5 hours of service. The group discovered various factors impacting community health and wellness in Warm Springs by exploring elements of food sourcing, community and cultural activities, and outdoor recreation.  Through direct service work, the group explored community gardens, nutrition classes, cultural events, and outdoor recreation/education that all impact the health and livability of the Warm Springs area. The group visited extensively with faculty and staff at the Warm Springs Extension Office to learn about the services and programs put on by OSU Extension for the community.  Students also learned about Native traditions and the history of the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Pauite tribes through their time at the Museum at Warm Springs. By spending time with tribal members the trip participants explored and learned through personal narrative about the tribal customs of the native populations on the reservation


“The most valuable part of the trip would have to be directly speaking to members of the tribes and the community members…I will definitely always remember the kindness of our hosts.”

  • Total volunteer hours and educational hours
    • Volunteer: 148.5 service hours
    • Education: 77.5 educational hours

Contact Info

Center for Civic Engagement
158 Snell Hall (MU East) Corvallis, OR 97331-1610 beaver.volunteer@oregonstate.edu
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