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Release date: March 9, 2001
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Assistant Director, 404-727-0644, or

Students Head to Work For Spring Break March 10-17

Photo Courtesy of
Northwestern University ASB
While many of their classmates are in search of sun and fun during next week’s spring break, 36 Emory students will be working in service to others. Student group Alternative Spring Break has organized three service trips for Emory students in Tennessee and the Carolinas.

"One of the great things about this program, is that it gives students the chance to do the kind of service they want, whether it’s physical labor or the one-on-one interaction of tutoring," says Emory senior Jacob Kaplan, president of Alternative Spring Break.

For the second year in a row, 12 students will work on improving three miles of the Cumberland Trail in eastern Tennessee. There’s no room for slackers on this trip: due to the isolated nature of the trail, students will have to hike to and from work sites, meaning two to four miles of hiking daily. Then there’s the clearing of trails and building of footbridges, but the ice cream pig-out after touring the nearby Mayfield Dairy will help ease those aching muscles.

Another dozen students will work with the nuns of Our Lady of Mercy Outreach on Johns Island, S.C., doing exterior painting and helping in the group’s after-school tutoring program. Located outside of Charleston, S.C., the program works to rejuvenate poverty-stricken Johns Island. This trip focuses on African-American culture, including a session in African drumming and dancing and a visit to the Avery Center of African American culture. Junior Shariyf Muhammad enjoys meeting new people and helping others on spring break service trips. "At the very least, I develop a pretty strong relationship with the nine or so other Emory and Oxford people who, although from different backgrounds, share similar values in terms of service," says Muhammad.

For the seventh year in a row, 12 students will build houses with Habitat for Humanity, but this will be the first time doing so in High Point, N.C. The Emory group will join students from one or two other schools, as opposed to the 300 students in previous locations. "We always enjoy working with Habitat, and since this will be a smaller group, there can be closer interaction with each other and the community," says Kaplan.

Photo courtesy of Northwestern University ASB.

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