AB-MH Retreat Weekend

AB Love

Author: {the awesome} Michelle Craig

After a two hour ride in the SMU van, eating a 24 ounce bucket of Cheez-Its, and exploration of the Lake Texoma shoreline, the Alternative breaks executive board sat down on a Saturday afternoon to formulate a five-year plan for the organization.

We travelled to a lake house two hours north of Dallas. Although our weekend was not spent physically at SMU, our concentration and continual focus was on one question…

How can we create active citizenship on our campus?

So, we have to expand our thinking to big picture. We ask questions. How can we improve our trip education? What are some ways we can make annual fundraising events? How can we expand our program? We consider different aspects of the organization: participants, trip costs, public relations, site coordination, alumni relations, and implementing an advisory board. But most importantly, we remember the goals we join with many other organizations to work towards.

To end world hunger. To provide affordable housing for all.  To stop the spread of AIDS. To promote fairness, justice and freedom. The list is endless. And these goals are far-reaching. But if we don’t aim big, what are we aiming for? We must never place limitations on possibilities. We work towards achievable goals and hold fast to our hopes for the future. In this year alone, Alternative Breaks participants at SMU will have worked a total of 4,500 service hours, and nationally, that number is 1.9 million service hours. This is why we create a five-year plan.

10 students. 1 advisor. Brainstorming possibilities in a bright, open room. We realize that Alternative Breaks reaches far beyond our four years at SMU.

As I sit in this teal chair with a floral print cushion, I look around and consider… in just a few short years, new faces will fill these seats. A complete turnover in an executive board can and will happen every two to three years. We realize that our five-year plan is not set in stone. Everything is subject to change. But we have a plan. We have a tangible hope in
the future of Alternative Breaks at SMU. We have a tangible hope for our world. We don’t want to be just another college group. We want to create citizens who care about social change far beyond their years at SMU.

Follow SMU AB {@SMU_Alt_Breaks} on twitter

Check us out at www.smu.edu/ab.

About Stephanie Howeth

This entry was posted in Alternative Breaks, Alternative Breaks 2011, Leadership, Service. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to AB-MH Retreat Weekend

  1. Essete Workneh says:

    I can’t wait to see SMU Alternative Breaks grow in the coming years! Attending AB trips is a great way to become an active citizen, and transfer the tools you gain into your everyday life. Great post Michelle! :)

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