Badger Alternative Breaks to head to New York City and Washington, D.C.


Homeless youth in LGBTQ community

Every spring Johnson State College leads two community service breaks that take place over February and April breaks. This year the trip destinations are to New York City in February for building strength through pre- disaster preparedness and post disaster recovery in relation to Super Storm Sandy. During this trip they will be helping with the destruction clean up.
The other group is focusing on homelessness in LGBTQ communities in New York City.

The second trip is heading to Washington, D.C in April, where they will advocate for abolishing global torture. A second trip will focus on food and nutrition issues, specifically helping to build access to affordable and sustainable food for all in Washington D.C.

The students who are going on these trips include  Erica Fuller, Kelsey Magee, Alyssa Slaimen, Elizabeth Conard, Danielle Hoppe, Jillian Lopez and Rachele Funk.

For Director of Student Activities and Community Service Krista Swahn, students are at the center of all Badger Breaks. “The students are the life blood of the program, they make everything happen,” she said. “It is completely student led.”
Students are still in the training stage for the trips and are fundraising as well.

Badger Alternative Breaks follows the National Break Away model of eight components of a quality alternative break. They are alcohol and drug free and include strong and direct service, diversity and social justice, orientation, education, training, reflection and reorientation. At the end of each of the trips there is a presentation during which the students share what they did. One of the purposes of the alternative breaks is to bring the ideals of making a difference and serving the community back to the student’s community.

Sophomore Rachele Funk was a part of an alternative break last year and is leading another one this year, primarily because her last year’s experience was richly rewarding.  “I’ve always had a passion for community service and just serving in general, and I knew I wanted to continue with it. I wanted to do a little bit more and take a leadership role,” she said. “I definitely recommend this completely. I think community service no matter who you are or what you do is something everyone should participate in. It opens your eyes to different thing you don’t usually see or know that’s happening. It gives you a purpose and how you want to see the world change.”
Sophomore Erica Fuller is leading the trip to Washington D.C on “Building Access to Affordable and Sustainable Food for All” in April. Last year I had a really good experience with Badger Alternative Breaks,” she said, echoing pretty much Funk’s perspective. “I went on a trip to Nicaragua with them. I really loved the fundraising and having that group aspect and going for a good cause. That’s why I applied to be a leader.”

To Fuller community service has always been important.” I’ve always really liked to do service, and help other people and make a difference in my community. In high school I always did service and coming to college I wanted to get involved,” she said.