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UW Students to Do Volunteer Work During Spring Break

March 10, 2014

Students from the University of Wyoming will spend their spring breaks working on projects ranging from conservation efforts in Trinidad to assisting homeless youths in San Francisco.

They will volunteer in various areas around the world March 14-22 during the Alternative Break (AB) program sponsored by UW’s SLCE (Service, Leadership and Community Engagement). The UW students will work in Moab, Utah; San Francisco, New Orleans, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Jamaica.

The AB program provides opportunities for students to help resolve local and global issues through direct service and education. 

“It (AB) provides an outlet for students to develop leadership skills and a commitment to service, promoting future leaders,” says Sagan Hunsaker, the program’s director.

She says the program is a distinct students-leading-students model.  Every year, students are selected, by an application process, to serve as team leaders for the service trips. Their responsibilities include planning and organizing the trips and team building activities as well as overseeing the group's needs while at their host sites.

Hunsaker describes this year’s projects:

Costa Rica -- Youth development is the focus. The projects in teaching English offer volunteers opportunities to explore day-to-day life in Costa Rica, while helping young students improve their English skills.

Jamaica -- This is a community develop focus in which students work alongside the Association of Clubs, a well-established community organization in Petersfield, Jamaica. Volunteers tutor local students, provide instruction within the schools, and participate in construction and maintenance and repair initiatives throughout the parish. Volunteers have the opportunity to learn about local history and culture of Jamaica’s urban, rural and coastal areas.

New Orleans -- Years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans community, there is still much disaster relief to be followed up on and maintained. Volunteers will restore some of the thousands of trees lost during the hurricane. Other opportunities will be to help local construction agencies restore community structures and facilitate new growth within the community.

San Francisco -- The project will focus on youth development. Service projects include working with homeless youths with the Home Away From Home agency as well as with school children of all ages doing habitat restoration.

Trinidad -- Students will focus on community development and eco-tourism. During the trip, students will concentrate on restoring the coastline, local trails and access roads. Volunteers also may have the opportunity to support the leatherback turtle conservation efforts and serve alongside local agricultural education facilities.

Utah -- With a focus on environmental sustainability and eco-friendly practices, volunteers in Utah will work in national parks, including Arches and the Grand Canyon. This experience allows students to explore the western United States while improving environmental conditions.

Students who will volunteer this year, listed by their hometowns and the places they will work during spring break, are:


Buffalo -- Alexandra Velasquez, San Francisco.

Casper -- Ethan Atwood, New Orleans; Madison Graham, New Orleans; Ricardo Lind-Gonzalez, Utah; Mikala McCool, New Orleans; Tanya Meek, Costa Rica; Kevin Schlidt, Costa Rica; Victoria VanHorn, San Francisco; Erika Yagi, Trinidad.

Cheyenne -- Alissa Aylward, Jamaica; Ashley Barrowman, San Francisco; Hayden Butterfield, New Orleans; Sean Johnson, New Orleans; Brittney Kupec, Costa Rica; Christine Mock, Utah; Spencer Moul, Jamaica; Mackenzie Muirhead, Jamaica; Rachael Piver, Costa Rica;  Hannah Young, San Francisco; Laura Zander, New Orleans.

Cody -- Samantha Lambert, Jamaica.

Cowley -- Jeff Wilson, Trinidad.

Gillette -- Cody Friedlan, New Orleans.

Green River -- Jade Schmitt, Trinidad.

Lander -- Natalie Basoli, Utah.

Laramie -- Rajesh Bajracharya, Costa Rica; Ahmed Balogun, Trinidad; Anuj Basnet, Costa Rica; Calvin Grinder, Costa Rica; Madeline Harvey, Utah; Dohyun Lee, San Francisco; Michala Lindley, Costa Rica; Amanda Ortegon, Trinidad; Jencee Reardon, San Francisco; Abigail Smith, New Orleans; Lindsay Stoffers, Costa Rica; Ahmad Syahid, Trinidad; Yue Wen, Utah.

Rock Springs -- Sierra Johnson, Trinidad; Shaylynn Levada, Jamaica; Erin Ma, Costa Rica.

Sheridan -- Alex Blare, San Francisco; Kourtney Puckett, Trinidad.


Juneau -- Shelby Oelklaus, Jamaica.


Temecula -- Williams Sanford, San Francisco.


Arvada -- Molly DeLau, New Orleans; Ashley Hildebrandt, San Francisco.

Aurora -- Emma Olson, Utah.

Castle Rock -- Jessica Klemperer, Jamaica.

Centennial -- Lauren Pickett, Jamaica.

Colorado Springs -- Katelynne Adams and Christina Wilkinson, both Trinidad.

Fort Collins -- Emilie Boland, New Orleans.

Golden -- Danielle Wood, San Francisco.

Lakewood -- Jessica Legaretta, Utah.

Loveland -- Alison Donelan, Jamaica.

Parker -- Heidi Dowling, New Orleans.


Kennesaw -- Kayla Henderson, San Francisco.


Indianapolis -- Caroline Boarini, San Francisco.

Malaysia -- Hong Loh, Utah.


Olive Branch -- Andrea Smith, Utah.


Liberty -- Melissa Anderson, Trinidad.


London -- Ashleigh Boyd, Jamaica.

South Dakota

Scotland -- Rhiannon Jakopak, Utah.

South Korea -- Darae Kwark, Utah.


Sedro Woolley -- Jordan Edson, New Orleans.

Silverdale -- Michaela Rubenstein, Jamaica.

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