Editor’s Corner: Finding family in Charlotte Reply

By Natalie Kfoury – Co-Editor-in-Chief

College has changed my life. In the past four years, I have started to become the person I want to be going off into the real world.  It has been a process that has taken a lot of time and personal progress. However, I recently went through a big change, all in one week, and I never thought that one week could change my life so much. I have my Alternative Spring Break (ASB) family to thank.

I was part of the North Carolina ASB trip, a position I am so thankful for. This year, the Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL) was fortunate enough to send two ASB groups, one to New York City and one to Charlotte, North Carolina (for more on the ASB trips, please see the front page article). The N.C. ASB group consisted of 20 people and in one short week we became family. I was so excited to embark on the trip, but I had no idea what a powerful impact it would have on me.

My N.C. ASB family worked long days filled with service on little sleep. We cleared fields, planted crops, and lugged wheelbarrows at Friendship Gardens, a community garden which crops benefited those in need of food.

We worked under the hot Carolina sun building a house for a family of five with Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds homes and helps low-income families learn how to pay for and take care of them. While we
suffered from hammer-banged fingers and general exhaustion, we worked hard as a team to provide a haven of hope for a family in need of a home. Watching my group raise a heavy roof by hand together was simply empowering.

We finished our week of service with Friendship Trays, an organization that works with Friendship Gardens. With this, our week of service came full circle. We cooked, packaged meals, painted, and cleaned with Friendship Tray- a nice break from working all day outside.

With each day of service, I saw my group become closer. From van jam sessions on the way, to our service sites, to deeply moving nightly reflections, we were growing together. We opened up to each other. We laughed until the early hours of every morning together. We supported each other. Suddenly, we were all becoming friends. And then after that, we became a family.

I sat in the airport on Saturday after a week of laughter, tears, love, and service and looked around at the faces seated next to me. I had done this at the airport a week before and was shocked to see how much my feelings for these incredible people had changed. Before I looked at them and wondered who each was. I wondered if we would
become friends. I worried about the trip.

But, the second time we sat in the airport, I looked at them with utter love and respect. I knew them and they knew me. I had formed relationships and bonds that were so strong. It was then that I understood how powerful this week-long trip had been. I will never forget the impact the N.C. ASB group had on me. I thank each and every one of you for your friendship, love, and support and I cannot wait to continue our family now that we are back at Lasell.

For all underclassmen, please consider applying for an ASB. Never have I had a more powerful experience in my entire life.

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