Outside of “I”sland

Over Hofstra University’s spring break March 24 to 29, 2013, 30 students decided to sacrifice their vacation to make a difference in another person’s life.

This year, Hofstra’s Office of Student Leadership and Activities (OSLA) Alternative Spring Break (ASB), partnered with the National Relief Network (NRN) to allow students to work with Hurricane Irene relief in Bayboro, North Carolina. NRN is a non-profit organization that sends groups to federally declared disaster zones that have been destroyed by natural disasters.

ASB is an annual program, founded in 2006 when OSLA partnered with the Interfaith Center and Student Government Association (SGA) to volunteer in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

This year, in three days, students from Hofstra University and the University of Delaware helped to bring down three homes that were affected by Hurricane Irene in Bayboro, N.C. This natural disaster left the city in need of help for rebuilding and cleaning of debris.

ASB allows students to participate in community service projects and experience a different environment and make a meaningful change for people in need. ASB has traveled to Philadelphia, Utah, Seattle, and El Paso, Texas for previous trips.

Ashley Gray, Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Activities, has been with ASB for three years and says, “I cannot choose one place that is unforgettable because each place holds a place in my heart because I remember the lives’ changed by helping rebuild.”

Hofstra University’s Association of Black Journalists (HUABJ), third year journalism student, Claudia Balthazar attended this year and had an unforgettable experience. She says, “I liked helping out with [ASB] because I think it’s important to help others in need. A lot of families in impoverished areas such as Bayboro, N.C., cannot afford to pay for contractors to demolish homes; so volunteering to help an entire community was life changing.”

Melaine Morgan, member of HUABJ, second year radio production student says, “Getting out of my comfort zone allowed me to take a step back from my fast-paced, busy life; look at things from a different perspective; and learn some new things about myself.”

Hofstra students gathered for a week to help demolish three homes destroyed by natural causes and afterward came away with a better appreciation for the life they live.

For video footage by Claudia Balthazar: Click Here

-Arielle Burton

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