Mason Kerwick is the director of marketing for Mizzou Alternative Spring Break. Originally from Austin, Texas, he is a senior studying Strategic Communication at MU.
Alternative Spring Break is an undergraduate program that sends groups of students on service trips across the country during academic breaks. Applications for spring break trips are open online until Nov. 1. You can find more about ASB at its website, asb.missouri.edu.
When I transferred to Mizzou in the fall of 2011, I could describe my environment better than I could describe myself. The campus I found myself on was so fresh and overwhelmingly large that it seemed as though I was one among many.
But then, in early September, I discovered Alternative Spring Break. Somehow, the concept of going on a weeklong service trip with 11 strangers seemed incredibly appealing; I guess the mystery of it all was too enthralling to pass up. I applied the first day applications opened and not so patiently waited until early November to receive word of whether I had been accepted.
Well, I got it. I was selected to go on an environment trip to Virginia, and although I had no idea how it would go, I was optimistic about its chances of achieving awesomeness.
In March we left for what ended up being one of the best experiences of my undergraduate career. I had never been to Virginia before, so the sight of the rolling hills was enough to make my heart swoon with joy. For our service work, we built a bike path with the American Hiking Society in scenic Sky Meadows State Park, and then spent our free day exploring Washington, D.C.
Virginia is often called the gateway to the South but for me proved to be the gateway to my adulthood, thanks in part to the engaging and accepting atmosphere cultivated by my site leaders and subsequently my fellow participants.
When I came back to Mizzou, I discovered it had become a place filled with the faces of friends, and soon it felt as though I had found a home in the middle of Missouri. As I became increasingly involved with ASB, it was evident my first trip was a glimpse of everything this program has to offer. In retrospect, it seems joining ASB was the catalyst that allowed me to walk the path that serves both my destiny and my heart.
Like what you see here? Become a member.