By Elishah Ramos

For this past Spring Break I was fortunate enough to serve the Memphis community by working on the Mississippi River in river cleanup. Here at SMU, we have the option to participate in an Alternative Breaks program for our fall, winter, and spring breaks. Last year, picI participated in a spring break trip to Indianapolis, Indiana to work on urban gardening and this past winter break I was in Quito, Ecuador working with low-income children who work in their street markets. After participating in two amazing trips, I decided to be a site leader for the Memphis, Tennessee trip.

While in Memphis, we worked with Chad Pregracke and his non-profit, Living Lands and Waters. They work cleaning up the Mississippi River and several other rivers in multiple states. He was even featured as a CNN hero of the year! It was a very humbling experience and it really helped the group understand a concept that was vaguely familiar to all of us in a more personal level. While we were there, one of the participants in our group was even interviewed for a Memphis news channel. Working with over 15 other schools for a great cause led to a very rewarding spring break.