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University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students are breaking the mold for typical college spring breaks by participating in the Alternate Spring Breaks (ASB) program to explore a variety of social issues. This year’s three destinations include Tennessee and Alabama; Washington, D.C. and Guatemala.

Each trip has its own blogger to help document the experience and will be updating throughout the trip. The Tennessee, Alabama and Guatemala trips are brand new to the ASB trip options this year.


Climbing an active volcano, working in the fields and helping to rebuild a family’s home after Hurricane Agatha struck are just a few of the rewarding experiences the students attending the Guatemala ASB trip will face.

Bryant Nankee, junior and double major in business marketing and supply chain management at UW Oshkosh, took on the challenge of the Guatemala trip blogger because of his web presence minor.

“It’s really about the experience and helping people in need.  I want to experience what it’s like to be in an area that’s been hit with disaster and understand how those people are feeling, and do as much as I can to help them,” Nankee said. “I also love to travel, and I mean how often do you get to go to Guatemala?”

Students also will learn the process of creating their own coffee from the seed to the cup and visit young entrepreneurs who make products such as lip balm and hand sanitizer.

Tennessee and Alabama

The purpose of the trip to Tennessee and Alabama is to provide students with a chance to experience the history and current state of social limitations and situational inequality, according to the ASB blog.

The Tennessee and Alabama trip plans to go to the Civil Rights Memorial Center & Monument, The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, The Alabama Department of Archives and History, and The Rosa Parks Library and Museum, according to Christine Bono, a senior English major.

Bono will be updating the blog for the Tennessee and Alabama ABS trip, where they plan to help out at AIDS Alabama and the Nashville Rescue Mission.

“I think that this trip will be very inspiring,” Bono said. “I’ve always enjoyed learning about the civil rights movement and what is still going on today to further this movement. So to learn from another point of view is an opportunity that I did not want to miss out on.”

Washington, D.C.

The purpose of the ASB trip to Washington, D.C. is to provide students with a chance to experience poverty firsthand. Students will have an opportunity to be engaged with people currently struggling with homelessness and agencies that provide aid to those individuals.

The trip is meant to immerse students into the social issue of poverty and educate them on themes of hunger and homelessness.

“Our nation’s capital has the third highest poverty rate in the country (19.8% in 2006),” according to the ASB blog. “This compares to the surrounding communities of Maryland (8.2%) and Virginia (13.3%).”

Students on the trip will be working with the Father Mckenna Center, So Others Might Eat (SOME) and Capital Area Food Bank.

Follow the experiences of the students on Alternative Spring Breaks by visiting their blog.