ON: Alternative Break Program (Transcript)
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Winter break—usually a time for college students to regroup and recharge before the spring semester—has a unique value for a group of 45 Sacramento State students who want to make a positive difference in local communities.
(Narrator:) This is “Focus” from the campus of Sacramento State.
“But we don’t want any branches rubbing on each other.”
(Jim Finnerty, reporting:) These Sacramento State students are learning about proper tree care, but this is no class in botany. They’re doing volunteer community service during semester or spring breaks.
(Brendan McVeigh, Alternative Break, Sacramento State:) "It’s getting students involved in the community and off the campus and making that larger impact.”
(Finnerty:) Brendan McVeigh oversees the Sacramento State project called ”Alternative Break.” These students are trimming trees at Granite Regional Park. Others help organize donations at Habitat for Humanity.
(McVeigh:) “They’re coming from the academic classroom and here they are. They’re able to do some pretty hard labor, as you can see, and with that at the end of the day look back on the product that they did and rather than be a paper. It’ll be a thousand clean windows.”
(Melissa Wallace, senior, Sacramento State:) “I didn’t make it to Sac State on my own; I had a lot of scholarships given to me by the communities in Elk Grove and in Sacramento. So for me, this is a way to be giving back to the community that’s supporting my college education.”
(Finnerty:) The program began with 20 students in the spring of 2007. Today volunteer numbers have more than doubled and are growing.
(McVeigh:) “So that students can find areas in environment, in urban areas, working on rural projects. So really diversifying the types of service projects that are available. And engage students as leaders as the projects get built.”
(Finnerty:) Those leadership opportunities are important to students who see the projects benefitting themselves as well as others.
(Erika Alfaro, pre-nursing student, Sacramento State:) “I eventually want to dedicate my life to helping others. I don’t know how, but I’m going to do something around that field.”
(Wallace:) “It’s more than just doing community service. To me it’s a fulfillment of giving back to the people who are helping me.”
(Finnerty:) This is Jim Finnerty Reporting.
(Narrator:) For more information on this and other news from Sacramento State, visit our website.