I didn’t really know what to expect going into the ABC’s in Atlanta. I’d never been to Atlanta before, and had only ever participated in one ASB trip. I wasn’t overly dedicated to the program, just very excited to become a trip leader. I didn’t have any major visions for ASB, our my trip for the next year. All I knew was that I had an open mind and a passion for enacting global change. This is what I brought with me to Emory University. I left with almost exactly the same things. However, this open-mindedness and passion had taken an entirely new form, one that completely understood the purpose of Alternative Breaks, Asset-Based Community Development, the meaning of having a group of strangers feel like family, and what it takes to make the impact I’ve always known I wanted to make.
Not only did I learn very thoroughly the eight components of a quality alternative break, I brainstormed ways these components could be revised to better the program at Lafayette. I fully understand what it means to build a community based on what it has, not what it needs. This idea is something that I have noticed several times since I’ve come home, and is something I will remember in the future as I start to develop programs in my community, whether it is next year in Easton or ten years from now. I’ve been inspired by the Alternative Breaks movement. Seeing how passionate others are about the programs at their school has motivated me to become part of the larger movement and try to get others to do so. I realized as I was in tears looking out the window of the airplane on the way home that the week I spent with Break Away was not your average Alternative Break trip. The friends I made and the ideas we exchanged has given me tremendous insight on what it truly means to be an active citizen.