Students wait at the airport before heading to Miami, Florida for their Alternative Break. (image credit: Center for Community Engaged Learning)

Over Winter Break, a group of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) students packed their bags and went to Miami, Florida to conduct service projects. This trip was an Alternative Break option, organized by the Center for Community Engaged Learning. The Alternative Break program allows students to participate in a week-long trip to various locations for Winter or Spring Break in order to conduct service projects.

Each location has a specific topic that is focused on throughout the trip. During the Miami trip, nine SNHU students, two chaperones, and two trip coordinators participated in many projects based on the topic of human sex trafficking and gender based violence.

While on the trip, the group stayed in hostiles. Their days were divided up between the Camillus House, Lotus house and Miami Rescue Mission which provide residential programs along with meal services for their clients. All three of these locations work with the Miami Homeless Trust.

Students helped clean, cook, serve meals, organize pantries, and give a helping hand with whatever was needed while at the hostiles. They also spent a day mulching a garden and playground area at the Lotus house. This was to make the living areas more welcoming to clients and give them a place to relax.

On the last day of their trip, the group participated in an outreach project to inform the community about human sex trafficking and gender based violence. They passed out flyers and talked to people about the serious issue. The flyer included warning signs people should look for and who to contact in order to help a victim.

The Alternative Break trip was a success and all of the participants enjoyed conducting the services they did.

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