Have you heard of Alternative Breaks? It enables students to participate in short-term service-learning experiences that challenge social, political and economic structures of our global community. I’ve been part of this community for several years now, and I love it! I feel that this also helped grow into a better person and a much better public health professional. My favorite term I learned from my experience with Alternative Breaks (AB) is called “Active Citizens”.
Many people in our community, our country, and even in our world today are aware of the local and global issues that are happening thanks to the social media and news outlets. I know a few people who knows about every new developments in the world. That’s great, but being the active person that I am, all I can think is “You know so much about these issues. Why aren’t you doing something about it?” I understand that people are different. Some just have so much general knowledge and concern for their communities, but they don’t have the personalities to do anything about it.
Being involved in a local or global community doesn’t mean you have to do big projects or risky political statements. Sometimes, it can be as simple as supporting a local charity or helping out at a soup kitchen. There are many ways to be involved in issues that we care about without putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations. Alternative Breaks gave me that opportunity too. Before participating in it, I was just volunteering here and there without much global knowledge even though I wanted to work in the global health field. After becoming a part of it, I became an active citizen in the community and a much better globally-conscious citizen too.
…but like I said, we can start anywhere.
For example, there is a Blood Drive on Thursday, March 9th at USG in the Multipurpose Room from 10am-3:30pm. This is a great opportunity to donate blood to help save lives or to volunteer at the event to support in saving lives. You can register online or contact Francine Baker or Michael Luong for more details.
Now that you get the idea, let’s become (more) active citizens!