Student Spotlight, March 2012
“I’m [about to be] gone but I’ve got all the memories, and to me that’s priceless.”- Gregory Hicks
Sitting down to talk with Gregory Hicks during his final Alternative Break, he reminisces about all the things he has accomplished, the people he has met, and his experiences being involved with Alternative Breaks. As we begin to talk about the positive atmosphere of Alternative Break he points to some of his fellow volunteers and says, “You see what I’m saying... the laughter.” For Greg, the thought that this is his last Alternative Break is bittersweet. “I’m happy I did so many things but sad that since it’s my last semester it won’t be the same,” given that Alternative Break is open only to current Sac State students. All the experiences and friendships are something he wouldn’t trade for the world. He considers his fellow volunteers from Alternative Break to be like family.
Before coming to Sacramento State Greg always liked to help people but didn’t know how to go about volunteering. Since he transferred to Sacramento State in fall 2008, Greg has participated in most Alternative Breaks, which started him on the path of service. Greg has also volunteered with the Sac State Serves program, and thanks to Alternative Break, joined both the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and the service club Circle K.
After participating in so many projects he stated, “To be honest there hasn’t been a project I didn’t like," but he will always be most fond of his first Alternative Break experience. At Jedediah Smith Elementary, volunteers painted the playground and helped organize materials and activities in the classroom. It was after this experience that Greg thought, “The stuff I’m doing for these kids is amazing.” Having done these projects Greg can see the lasting impacts of his service throughout the community. Some of these such as the tree planting he did with Alternative Break will be around for generations. Reflecting on this project he said, “When I have kids one day I can say, ‘you see those trees there, I planted those’.”
What Greg enjoys about participating with many different organizations is being able to learn their history and relate to what they do because, “Everyone has a story to tell.” He thinks it’s important that people get to know their surroundings, because it allows them to be informed and go places within the community they’ve never been before. Greg’s advice for future volunteers is, “It’s good for the heart, good for the mind, good for the soul; community service is the way to go.”
After graduating in spring 2012 with a Health Science Bachelor of Science degree concentrating in Health Care Administration and a minor in Business Administration, Greg plans to take a break and travel before pursuing a Master’s in Public Health or Business Management.
Contributed by A. Hamilton
Each year, more than two thousand Sacramento State students, faculty, staff, and alumni participate in programs and projects sponsored by Community Engagement Center. Programs such as Alternative Break, AmeriCorps Students in Service, Sac State Serves, and Service Learning fulfill our mission to facilitate learning and engagement by linking campus and community for mutual benefit. Through Spotlight, Community Engagement Center will highlight outstanding individuals and programs advancing community engagement in the Sacramento region.
last updated: 5/14/2012