Brett Losen '14
Foundation Office Assistant
Majors: Classics, minor in Biology
Hometown: Calmar, IA
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.
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 justice issues, to engage participants in meaningful dialogue and reflection on these experiences, and to practice and develop service-oriented leadership, awareness, and collaboration skills for their Dartmouth careers and beyond.
Participant ASB Application FAQ's for Fall 2014
2015 Trip Leaders: Zachary Cooper '17, Emily Harwell '16
Modern Native American life doesn't much resemble society's image of them as horse-riding reservation dwellers. While a portion of Native populations are reservation-based many others live in urban settings. Today, more than half of all Native peoples live in urban areas. Most Urban Indian communities are deeply rooted in the culture and tradition of their homelands, however, also face unique social, cultural and economic challenges living in some of largest metropolitan regions of the United States. This trip will explore Urban Indian life in Denver, Colorado, home to nearly 25,000 Native American peoples. Service projects will allow Dartmouth students learn about the challenges and successes of Denver's Native communities by working with community partners that provide cultural programming, Indian healthcare, housing and education services to its' Urban Indian community members.
2014 trip - "I learned to be respectful and curious. Knowledge is everywhere and it is up to you to educate yourself and others."
Trip Leaders 2015: Francis Slaughter '16, Yomalis Rosario '15
The DR ASB works in the San Cristóbal community near Santo Domingo and partners with Movimiento Integrador Mi San Cristóbal, a local not-for-profit that promotes change and helps strengthen the community. They work with local community organizations supporting them in various ways carrying out projects based on identified community needs and initiatives. In 2014 the ASB-DR team worked on the reconstruction of "Casita Feliz", a pre-school in the Najayo Arriba community, which was an initiative of Fundación Adelante San Cristóbal, the organization directly responsible for carrying out this project. Future collaborations may include preservation projects for local historical sites and further infrastructure developments. The ASB seeks to contribute meaningful service and foster cross-cultural relationships, focusing on issues of culture, history and relationship to Haiti, and various aspects of power and privilege in the broader context of the living conditions and challenges of a developing country.
2014 trip - "I learned that service does not simply mean shoveling concrete or carrying blocks. It means going through the neighborhood and meeting people. It means helping people cook and exchanging life stories...It means sitting in a class of thirty-eight students all excited to learn even if they don't have access to electricity or a playground. It is seeing the people out there who are already making waves in their communities and offering your help in any way that you can."
2015 Trip Leaders: Hoi Wong '17, TBD
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. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a focal point for examining these issues. 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.
2014 trip - "I am so much more aware of my own privileges now that I have connected with people who lack them. The migrant workers were so optimistic and hard-working. Their stories both inspired me and made my heart ache for equality."
2015 Trip Leaders: Sharjeel Syed '16, Kevin Neilson '17
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.
2014 trip - "While we put much into the trip, we received more than we can ever repay."
2015 Trip Leaders: Roshen John '15, Hamza Abbasi '16
The 2013 Faith in Action: Washington D.C. 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. 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.
2014 trip - "A long-time personal goal of mine has been to live honestly with myself, that is, to actually live out what I think and say. This trip has exposed me to so many role models who really inspired me and challenged me to be more mindful about actually turning my beliefs into actions."
2015 Trip Leaders: Claire Pendergrast '15, Ruby Hopkins '17
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.
2014 trip - "This trip impacted me. I do not think I can make major changes at this very moment, but it is something that will be in my mind every time I study, take an exam, find an internship, or speak with people about my experiences...This trip serves as motivation that will remind me why I am choosing to pursue Environmental Studies and government as majors. These problems will never be easy to solve, but the problems inspire me to work to solve them."
For more information, please blitz ASB@dartmouth.edu
Last Updated: 9/19/14