Howard University > Alternative Spring Break 2012
Keneisha Deas  
By Keneisha Deas
Howard University News Service



Freshman’s first year in Alternative Spring Break: Detroit

DETROIT (March 12) – As freshman Rachel Solomon mentors pupils from the Detroit public school system, she reflects on what brought her here. She comes from a long history of dedicating her services to the community; starting first with her own community back home in Los Angeles, California.

Rachel’s services to the community have included volunteering at Saint Stevens Church to feed the homeless for Thanksgiving and Christmas andto raising money for the homeless.

A public relations major, Rachel was given the opportunity to volunteer her services for Alternative Spring Break (ASB) Detroit here at Howard University.
“I applied for ASB Detroit because it’s my mother’s hometown, and I wanted to give back to her childhood home. It holds a special place in my heart.” Rachel said sheepishly.

Her mother, Joanne Solomon, was born and raised in Detroit. She is a fellow alumna of Wayne State University, along with President Sidney A. Ribeau.

Rachel also applied for Alternative Spring Break Detroit because of the humble experience she will gain from the service. “I wanted to get a new perspective by looking through the eyes of others. I wanted to look at other people’s struggles.”

Like every student in Alternative Spring Break, Rachel knows some challenges lie ahead. Rachel’s challenge: not being relatable to her mentees.

“My challenge is not being able to relate to any of the students. I know some of the things they might have done, I haven’t,” Rachel admitted.

Despite these hurdles, Rachel expects to learn a lot from these students.

“I’ve learned to never judge. I believe a lot of people judge from the outer appearance and we don’t know their [people’s] backgrounds.”

She also has learned the classic saying, “an old dog learning new tricks.” 
“You’re never too old to learn new things,” Rachel added with a broadened smile.

So far, her experience with Alternative Spring Break has been worthwhile. She served as a panelist during the assembly at Cody High School. She discussed her experiences at Howard University as a first-year student, which gave insight for hopeful future Bisons.

Like all other active members involved in Alternative Spring Break, Rachel was assigned two mentees. One of her mentees, Abya Scott, is a sophomore at Highland Park High School.

“I might consider returning for Alternative Spring Break depending on how things go this year,” Rachel said with a warm smile.
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