Spring Break 2012 - Atlanta
Howard University > Alternative Spring Break 2013
Howard University Students Use Their Spring Break to Battle Gangs in Baltimore
By Jordan Duckens
Office of University Community

WASHINGTON -- For nearly 20 years, Howard University students have skipped the beaches, parties, vacations and even trips home for spring break to instead use that time serving others across the nation and the world.

This year, hundreds will spend spring break in seven U.S. cities and Haiti from March 9 to March 15 helping communities with a variety of concerns – from illiteracy to gang violence to gun control to HIV/AIDS.

In Baltimore, Howard students will combat gang violence.  Through education, advocacy, and lobbying, students will raise awareness about gangs.  The Baltimore City Office of Youth Violence Prevention reports that homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American males ages 15-35.

The site coordinator for Baltimore is Andrew Hairston, a senior who is majoring in political science and minoring in African studies. Hairston is from Oklahoma City, Okla., and has participated in ASB for three years now. As a sophomore he traveled to New Orleans for ASB and participated the next year in Washington, D.C.

The effort is part of the University’s award-winning Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program led by Executive Director Dr. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau.  Since 2009, ASB has expanded to incorporate multiple cities. This year, volunteers will serve communities in eight locations and will provide more than 12,000 hours of service. ASB 2013 includes service sites in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and Haiti. This is the largest number of locations served in the program’s 19-year history.

In the past, Howard University students tutored elementary school students in English and math, helped rebuild in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and helped establish a library for a public high school in Washington, D.C. ASB is coordinated through the Office of the Dean of the Chapel with significant institutional support from the Office of the President coupled with the help of generous donations from Howard alumni, students, staff, faculty and residents from Washington, Maryland and Virginia.
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