Contact: Abigail Fota, College Relations Associate - Media, 610-740-3790


Largest Number of Students in Program's Five-Year History to Participate in Alternative Spring Break

Allentown, Pa (March 4, 2004) - A week full of physical labor, hard work and fun is what a group of students from Cedar Crest College are looking forward to as Spring Break approaches. Each year, the College offers and Alternative Spring Break to students where they use their time off from their routine academic schedules to help local communities with various construction projects. This year, students will be traveling to two sites in North Carolina to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in Winston Salem where they will work on the construction of a home and the Robeson County Church and Community Center in Lumberton where they will build wheelchair ramps. Both trips run from March 6 through March 13, 2004.

Students began applying for Alternative Spring Break early in the fall semester through applications and a group interview process that allowed program coordinates to choose a mix of leadership skills that created the best possible team dynamics. "The interview process gives us the ability to look for beneficial characteristics within the individual students, such as energy, enthusiasm, communication and open-mindedness. From these characterisitcs, we are able to build teams with an optimal blend of leadership dynamics," says Tammy Bean, Director of Community Service Programs at Cedar Crest.

This year, 30 students and 4 advisors will be going on the trip. This is the largest number of participants in the program's 5-year history. The Cedar Crest's first Alternative Spring Break trip took place in the spring of 2000. "Out of the 30 students who are going on this trip, 10 are returning students who have already had this experience. Two of the students are seniors who are returning on this trip for the fourth time," says Bean. "Two-thirds of the students are new to the program and are participating in this trip for the first time. These students have been inspired by the energy and excitement of the returning students, along with their inherent commitment to service."

Erin Nedderman '04 is participating in Alternative Spring Break for the fourth year in a row. "I have chosen to go every year based on my wonderful experience my freshman year. I went then because I had never done anything like it before and it sounded like such an interesting experience," says Nedderman. "This experience is rewarding because of the work we do, helping those people who welcome us into their communities."

Students have spent months organizing and fundraising for this trip. The money they raise is necessary for their housing fees as well as the building materials that they use throughout the construction. "We would not be able to do this program without the generosity and kindness of members of the Cedar Crest local community. All of the extra donations have really motivated the group and given us fuel for the journey," says Bean.

Students at Cedar Crest consistently perform over 18,000 hours of community service each year. "Even if it is not in our hometown of Allentown, the students are still dedicated to providing service to the community," says Bean.

Media is invited to attend a final meeting on Sunday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Tompkins College Center, Alcove C, as students share photographs and reflect on their experiences. For more information or to set up an interview, please contact the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.

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Abigail Fota
College Relations Associate - Media


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