Photos by Kristina Kaufmann
Danielle Cutillo & Tier Gibbons – 1851 Staff
Last month, 12 students and two staff members headed to New Orleans, for the annual Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip. The plan was to mend the damage from Hurricane Katrina and sort Mardi Gras beads, but the team did not realize they were in for a life changing experience.
“The work we did was incredible, but the knowledge and experiences we gained were just as special,” said sophomore Phil Skerry.
The group worked with the organization, Rebuilding Together New Orleans where they were able to paint two houses. They also worked at the Arc of New Orleans
to sort Mardi Gras beads and helped paint an auditorium at a prep school.
Freshman Drew DiSilva was inspired by how strong the people of New Orleans are, even after everything their city has been through. “They all have been hit one way or the other by the hurricanes that destroyed their city and they still smile,” said DiSilva. Southerners are truly proud of their city and are incredibly hospitable.
ASB leaders, seniors Kevin Moloney and Flannagh Fitzsimmons, were both excited
for this trip and left with great memories. “This trip was the perfect definition of
service. I have been inspired and moved to the point of tears,” said Fitzsimmons.
“Working with college students in their leadership development through service learning trips is something I want to devote my life to because of this experience,” said Moloney.
Reflection was an important part of the trip. It helped the group get to know
each other while reflecting on the day’s activities. “Our group reflections helped us
become closer as a team and it was an opportunity to overcome any challenges we
faced during the trip,” said junior Kristina Kaufmann. Kia Riveria said, “It was important to me to build relationships that I hope will last a lifetime and I think that goal was achieved that week.”
Students were not the only ones who were moved by the trip. This was the second
ASB trip Tiesha “Byrd” Hughes’, the Assistant Director at the Center for Community- Based Learning (CCBL), has chaperoned. “It really shows the power of youth. You guys help others when you could be doing other things. It’s powerful because you’re giving but getting at the same time,” said Hughes.
Since this year’s trip was a success in New Orleans, the future looks bright for the annual Lasell College ASB trip. Planning is already in development for next year’s trip, as the Lasers prepare to continue leaving their mark with another week of service.