Students who participated in Fresno State’s Alternative Spring Break program share their experiences of volunteering with Scout Island, Stone Soup, and the Ronald McDonald House for spring break, during the Alternative Spring Break 2016 Celebration and Reception on Friday, April 8, 2016. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)

Students use spring break to help community

Alternative Spring Break ran March 21 through the 24 as students dedicated their time to different teams working with children, families and the environment in their community.  

“Each team varied, depending on what each team decided to do,” said Ramiro Merino Diaz, Stone Soup team leader and communications major. “There was Ronald McDonald who did home prepared meals, upholstery and planting. Scout Island did invasives specie removal, reforestation and river clean up, and my team did science, technology, engineering and math. We had a beautification project and then we had our spring carnival the last day.”

Students gathered Friday in the University Student Union to share their experiences.

“Today, we are doing the Alternative Spring Break reception and presentation, this is where the students get the opportunity to give their presentation of what they did throughout the spring break,” said Marina Aguileria, a public health major. She has participated in the program for six years.  

The room was filled with a sea of blue T-shirts that read “Alternative Spring Break 2016,” worn by all those who volunteered. The backs read the hashtag “ASBethechange.”

“The thing that motivated me to do this would be my friend who participated last semester. He did this program, and he invited me to a reception, and when he invited me to it, I got really involved and started as a co-team leader with him,” said Bernave Tinajero, a chemistry major.

All three groups presented the organizations they worked with and shared their experiences with a PowerPoint presentation that documented their journey over spring break.

“It’s been a great experience. I myself have been able to grow and also having the opportunity of mentoring the students to kind of make a difference in the community,” said Aguileria.

All the students said volunteering made them feel good and expressed concern for improving their community.  

“I would tell everyone to be open about getting involved because I was not really a student that was involved in school,” said Tinajero.