Making a difference through Alternative Spartan Breaks

Posted at 9:31 AM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 09:31:57-05

Each winter break and spring break, Michigan State University students travel across the country to participate in service projects as part of Alternative Spartan Breaks.

This past winter break, a group of students traveled to St. Augustine, Florida to help the local Council on Aging build wheelchair ramps for local citizens. During the course of the week, the students were able to build a number of ramps, granting accessibility and ease of mind to the elderly residents.

“We can go back to these homes five years from now and see the ramps that we made,” said student leader Alex Diaz. “Making an impact that lasts is meaningful. Providing the opportunity for these people to have better access to their home is life-changing, and very fulfilling as a volunteer.”

Alternative Spartan Breaks have been funded in part by The Don Ausman Alternative Break Endowment. Ausman, an avid participant in Alternative Spartan Breaks, was a student at MSU when he passed away in 2009. Through the endowment, Ausman's legacy will continue to make an impact on those in need across the country.

While in St. Augustine, the Spartan group also partnered with the local police department to mow lawns and complete yard work for those in need.

“I would certainly recommend that other students go on these alternative trips. Students can gain a new perspective on issues that are around them everyday. The intrinsic feeling of helping someone else is heart-warming.”

To become involved with Alternative Spartan Breaks, visit for more information.