Some ISU students will volunteer instead of tan during spring break

AMES, Iowa -- Some Iowa State University students would rather spend spring break battling hunger, poverty and environmental issues than tanning on the beach. They're participating in an alternative break, March 17-21.

An alternative break places teams of students in different communities to engage in service and experiential learning. While communities benefit from tangible work completed during the week, students gain a broader understanding of the world around them.

The Iowa State students will volunteer with Camp Heartland, a non-profit agency in Minnesota that works with youth, ages 7 to 17, who have HIV/AIDS. The group will help prepare the camp grounds for spring and summer camps.

The group consists of five student participants, two student site leaders and two graduate student advisors. These students have been meeting since December to prepare for their alternative break trip. During the meetings, the students develop as a group, learn about the social issue of HIV/AIDS and become oriented with Camp Heartland.

Break Away, a national organization committed to revolutionizing college students' break experiences, estimates that thousands of students will spend this spring break volunteering around the world. Iowa State's alternative break program is in the second year and plans more alternative break trips for next year.

More information about Iowa State University's program is available from Jennifer Garrett, (515) 294-8081.