Saturday, March 12, 2011
Spring Break? Let's Make the Most of It.
Today, myself and ten of the UW-River Falls faithful will embark on a journey to West Virginia over our 2011 Academic Spring Break. This journey is the culmination of several months of hard work, learning and preparation for our Destination service experience. We will travel to West Virginia and dedicate a week's worth of time and effort to aiding the Southern Appalachian Labor School.
Rural poverty was not something that I have ever been familiar with. Living in the suburban Midwest, I have had little experience with anything like what I plan to experience over the upcoming week. Upon hearing a proposal to provide service in West Virginia, I had to do my own research to find out exactly how severe the impoverishment was. Over the past two months, our group has met weekly and dedicated themselves to learning more about the area and social climate that we intend to encounter when we arrive tomorrow. We've heard stories, crunched numbers, asked questions in preparation for the upcoming week and I, for one, am excited and ready for this opportunity to continue our learning experience and aid the community in which we will spend our Spring Break.
I know that there is no way to completely prepare for the Destination experience, but over the past few months, I've become acquainted with the ten individuals on this trip and believe that they are ready to make a difference. Since becoming a Destination Trip Leader, I have had the nagging worry that our group would return from our trip either without making a lasting difference at our site or without having a meaningful experience and returning as more informed and active citizens. After working with this group, I can't imagine either of those things happening. Only time will tell, but I look forward to working with the other Destination participants and Southern Appalachian Labor School over the next seven days.
During the week, members of the group will blog with the intention of giving readers an ongoing overview of our experience. Readers can expect to learn more about our group, the organization that we will be working with, and what it feels like to dedicate a week towards service. We will also share how we've changed and been impacted by our time in West Virginia.
"Don't count the days, make the days count."
- Muhammad Ali