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Shenango Students Spend Spring Break Helping Others in Belize

3/12/2014 —

A dozen Penn State Shenango students along with campus staff are spending their spring break this week in Belize, where they are helping to build a school library.

Alternative Spring Break is very popular at the Shenango campus. For one student, Joe Berg, an information sciences and technology major, it has been a life-changing experience that has opened his eyes to what’s going on in the world outside his hometown. This is Berg’s third time participating in the University’s service/learning project. His first trip was to Peru where he and his peers built wood fire stoves for families, and then two years ago, he and his fellow students traveled to Costa Rica where they helped protect and rescue endangered sea turtles. Another Shenango student who is part of this group is Sarah Yeager. Yeager will be experiencing an Alternative Spring Break trip for the second time while at Shenango. However, for the majority of the students who signed up for this year’s trip, this will be their first experience traveling abroad to help others in need.

In order to be permitted to participate in Shenango’s Alternative Spring Break trip, students are required to complete an application and write an essay on why they want to go, what they expect to learn/gain from the trip, and how they feel they can be of service.

Upon returning from Belize, the Shenango students will make a formal presentation on their experience to an audience of their peers, faculty and others. The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Wed., April 2 in the Forker Lab Forum. The students will explain the Alternative Spring Break program from the beginning with their pre-trip plans and classroom activities and move on to their actual trip experience and post- trip project. Topics such as the history, the social and ceremonial rituals, the economy and daily life, and the religion, language and cuisine of Belize will be discussed.

The presentation is free and open to the public.  For more information, contact the Student Affairs Office at 724-983-2836.

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