Break Away 2014

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In front of Dr. King's House in Montgomery

Break Away is truly one of the most memorable experiences I have had in my first year at college. This is a week-long service trip held during Winter Break for college students to visit and volunteer at a community in need of improvement in the U.S. Each trip has its own unique focus: arts & cultures, education, social justice, health & nutrition… Last year, there were 4 trips: 2 to Illinois, 1 to Maryland, and 1 to Alabama.

I participated in the trip to Selma, AL last January with the group of 13 students. Our site leaders are Anthony Daniels and Emma Share, and the participants are Teddy V., Paige Robnett, Unita Upshaw, Emily Hosfelt, Sasha Rupchandeo, Celeste Acosta, Rosie Guzman, Anairis Boror, Emma Gamble, Allison Murphy, and myself. The focus of our trip is on social justice and civil actions. Selma is a presently racial-segregated town, with deep presence of discrimination towards the African American communities, although 80% of the town are Blacks. During the time there, we worked with an organization called Freedom Foundation, which are run by a good bunch of dedicated volunteers. The foundation helps organize RATCO (Random Acts of Theatre Company), a performing arts group which aims to better the lives of the kids living in Selma. Besides from that, we volunteered at elementary and pre-K schools in town, visited historic places (the bridge where bloody Sunday happened, the Tepper community building, the Radio Station show “Real Talk” formed by Ronald and Gwen…), spent a day in Montgomery, watched race-related movies, and even hanged out in the YMCA. Overall, it was a great experience filled with good memories.

Anthony and Emma did an awesome job planning the trip, and the fact that they have contrasting approaches to certain situations makes things way easier. I made friends with the rest of the group quite easily; in fact, all of us can relate well to each other during and even after the trip. Too bad I can’t embed the footage of the “Somebody Loves You” dance video that we did during the trip 😦

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