Katie Chung '14
Student Director for Tucker Fellowships
Major: Romance Languages
Hometown: Tehachapi, CA
Each year the Tucker Foundation provides the opportunity for students to spend their Spring Break as part of a service-learning trip, known as Alternative Spring Break trips. Trips are organized and run by students, and participants contribute to the funding for each trip through campus-wide fundraising efforts that occur during the winter term.
The goal of Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips is to bridge students from a variety of academic, social, and ideological interests together in the interest of community service and social justice. The ASB program aims to provide opportunities for meaningful service that introduce students to domestic and international social issues, to engage participants in meaningful dialogue and reflection on these experiences, and to practice and develop service-oriented leadership, awareness, and collaboration skills throughout their Dartmouth careers.
Trip Leaders 2014: Jin Lee, Sharjeel Syed
In the United States, 48.5 million people are living in poverty, minimum wage is not keeping up with the rising cost of living, and many workers struggle to afford decent housing. Decent, stable housing provides more than just a roof over someone's head; it provides stability for families and children, a sense of dignity and pride, health, physical safety and security, and increased educational and job prospects. The Habitat for Humanity ASB will focus primarily on direct, hands-on service building housing alongside Habitat homeowners and affiliate directors in the destination community. This trip will also explore issues of income disparity and housing challenges in the USA broadly, in a specific region of the United States (according to where the trip would be going on a given year), and in the Upper Valley. The location of the trip will be established early each fall term.
Trip Leaders 2014: Thienan Dang, Ma'Ko'Quah Jones
Modern Native American life doesn't much resemble society's image of them as horse-riding reservation dwellers. Today, more than half of all Native peoples live in urban areas where they face a unique set of social and economic challenges. These Urban Indians are the creators of a new type of Indian culture, one based on their deep connections to home communities and cultures, but also mixed with their experiences in some of America's largest cities. This trip will explore Urban Indian life in Denver, Colorado, home to a 25,000 strong Native American community and the many organizations serving that community. Service projects will bring Dartmouth students in contact with Denver's Native community through work on diverse issues including cultural enrichment, Indian healthcare, access to housing, and education.
2013 trip - "The largest and most direct result has been my willingness and confidence to speak up when I see problematic things going on or being said here at Dartmouth. This trip had a huge impact on the way I understand and speak about social justice issues and has inspired me to be far more thoughtful about the variety of experiences, histories and perspectives present in our community here. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate having been able to go on this trip and how much I value the time I was able to spend with my wonderful group members. Thank you so much for this experience!"
Trip Leaders 2014: Goodwill Batalingaya, Kathleen Chung
The DR ASB works in Bately Libertad, a community of roughly 50 families near Esperanza, Dominican Republic. The ASB seeks to contribute meaningful service to the community and foster cross-cultural relationships through a close personal experience with the Batey. In 2012 the team constructed a home for a Haitian family and in future years the program will expand to include providing sanitary water, helping teach English, and continued work on community-defined construction projects. The educational component of the ASB explores issues of Haitian migrant workers, HIV/AIDS, poverty, marginalization, immigration, healthcare, and development in under-served regions of Latin America. Above all, participants learn to see beyond service as a vehicle for personal ablution and to recognize the humanity of every person in both the ASB team and the Batey community.
2013 trip - "This trip was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life, especially in such a short period of time. As soon as I came back from the trip, whenever anyone asked me how my trip went, I said, "You're going to have to ask me a specific question, because I can talk all day!" I gained valuable perspective on my society and myself, and in many ways the familiar world that I took for granted became unfamiliar. This trip has given me a new lens to reevaluate many facets of my day-to-day life."
Trip Leaders 2014: Ke Li, Andrew Nalani
90% of all the tomatoes consumed in the United States come from Immokalee, Florida, where a workforce—largely comprised of undocumented workers from Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti and West Africa—pick at least 5,000 lbs of tomatoes a day while earning minimum wage. In 1993, undocumented workers in Immokalee began meeting in the borrowed room of a small church to discuss how to best advocate for their individual and community human rights, and eventually formed the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). The CIW has now spent almost 20 years waging highly publicized, large-scale Anti-Slavery and Fair Food Campaigns against the government and private corporations. Through education and reflection sessions this trip will examine the controversial economic, social, and political issues surrounding migrant workers in America. During the ASB participants will stay and work at the Immokalee Friendship House (a shelter that partners with the CIW), visit farms, and also have opportunities to volunteer at a variety of other partner service organizations that provide services such as tutoring, legal advocacy, childcare, providing meals, etc.
2013 trip - "It is easy to claim knowledge while in a classroom, but not so easy when you are thrown into the unknown and into a situation far outside of your usual comfort zone. I have studied so many economics theories now, I am certain that everything I think is exactly different in the real world. Being able to bridge the gap between academics and the real world is something that requires significant exposure and self-reflection, neither of which is possible unless we accept the challenge of being partly broken down intellectually, to then be able to grow as people and attain more real knowledge of the world."
Trip Leaders 2014: Kassaundra Amann, Madeleine Parker
The 2012 Faith in Action: Washington DC Alternative Spring Break trip seeks to bring together students from a diversity of religious and moral traditions to explore the issue of youth and homelessness in the Washington DC Metro Area. Together, this group will work with a variety of community agencies serving homeless youth while learning about the complexity of homelessness. Service projects can range from participating in a Habitat for Humanity build to staffing a meal center, but largely focus on emergency services for homeless folks. By exploring service as a shared value across religious and spiritual lines, participants will have the opportunity to develop understanding and meaningful relationships within the context of religious difference while delving deeply into personal visions of what it means to serve a community in the context of a life of faith. Students from all religious and moral traditions are encouraged to apply.
2013 trip - "I loved my experience on the Washington D.C. Faith in Action ASB. I honestly don't think that I could have spent my spring break doing anything more worthwhile. My initial ideas about what I was going to learn were completely exceeded, and I found the experience to be really altering in a way that I didn't initially expect. I learned a lot about myself, faith, homelessness in the U.S.. I came to realize a lot of things during our time in D.C. and I'm thinking a lot differently now."
Trip Leaders 2014: Kathryn Gougelet, Tianyang Wang
Mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining is one of the most environmentally destructive methods of fossil fuel extraction in existence. Called "strip mining on steroids," mountaintop removal involves blowing up the tops of mountains using explosives in order to remove entire coal seams underneath. This practice has led to the total destruction of large segments of the Appalachian mountain range and has led to the loss of biodiversity, rampant air pollution, and the contamination of drinking water in many of America's poorest communities. Service projects in the area may include working with regional watershed organizations to help remediate areas affected by mountaintop removal, and outreach to local communities devastated by these practices. This Alternative Spring Break trip will investigate these and other environmental justice issues in the rural Appalachian region of West Virginia.
2013 trip - "I believe the experience from the trip will have a lasting impact on my undergraduate education and my career path. After going on the trip, I have learned extensively firsthand about environmental issues and social justice. Additionally, I have made lasting friendships with the other members of the trip. Along with the other members of the trip, I feel it is our duty to share what we witnessed in West Virginia, in order to improve the situation. I see the trip as just the beginning to the service that we will engage in. While what we do in one week can make a small difference, I believe that continued action towards the issues we examined can have a significant impact."
Last Updated: 9/30/13