ACE and Alternative Breaks 2012 in NOLA

J. Michael Cruz, director of the Dedman College Center for Academic-Community Engagement (ACE), is participating in the Alternative Breaks trip to New Orleans in December. Participants in the trip, which is co-sponsored by ACE and the office of Community Engagement and Leadership, are working with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans. You can follow the group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SMU.ACE

More opportunities to serve in Dallas and beyond

It's been over a week since the ACE/AB trip working in NOLA. As I reflect on our five days of service, I have a message for those reading this blog. For students: The opportunities to do meaningful service with the Alternative Breaks program at SMU are wonderful. During AB trips, students meet others they would perhaps not otherwise meet on campus. For example, on our trip we had a student from Meadows who did not know many students outside of the Meadows school; we had a first-year student; and we had a transfer student who had just started at SMU in August. The AB program travels to some great locations - including NOLA, Los Angeles, Boston, Austin, Taos and NYC [...]

2013-01-03T03:20:54+00:00 December 31st, 2012|ACE and Alternative Breaks 2012 in NOLA|

Our last day on the job

Our last day on the job As usual, we started the day with Dan making pancakes for everyone at 8am, and then we were out the door by 830am to be on site by 9am. Since we've been here for almost a week, we're pretty much trained and are able to work well with minimal direction. (We've actually been on site for so long, we've even become accustomed to knowing where tools are in the house - so if someone is looking for a hammer or a nail gun or paintbrush, we know exactly where we've seen one last!) With this being our last day we went right to work completing the tasks we were working on yesterday [...]

2012-12-20T16:26:59+00:00 December 20th, 2012|ACE and Alternative Breaks 2012 in NOLA|

A productive day and NOLA-style dinner

Hard at work Day 5 with YRNO, and we spent it at the S. Salcedo Street house again. We basically got into the same groups we were in yesterday - Adam worked with Prince and Terrance on the exterior siding; Monica, Karissa, and Dan worked on the exterior as well with Mr. Leonard (who I found out used to teach Religion at the high school Ryan attended); the rest of us worked inside. Again, Shauna and Danny used the chop saw to cut quarter-inch trim to length; Emily and I took measurements for the needed pieces; Anthony and Janice spent the morning painting the quarter-inch round; Kimberly spent almost the entire day countersinking nails hammered into the baseboards [...]

2012-12-19T20:11:38+00:00 December 19th, 2012|ACE and Alternative Breaks 2012 in NOLA|

Flood lines and hard work

Monica and Dan with the circular saw Students made chocolate-chip pancakes for breakfast this morning, and then we headed to the S. Salcedo house by 9am. All of us worked on this one house – some inside and some outside, and we worked in teams of two. I worked with Kimberly to install baseboards with a power nailer; Danny and Shauna were in charge of cutting the baseboards to size; and Janice and Emily were taking the measurements. On the exterior, Karissa and Anthony removed nails from the siding with Prince, Adam worked with Dhvante and Turk installing new siding, and Monica and Dan worked with one of the YRNO employees, Mr. Leonard, repairing existing siding. Shauna [...]

2012-12-18T17:11:41+00:00 December 17th, 2012|ACE and Alternative Breaks 2012 in NOLA|

A day off in the French Quarter

In Jackson Square Day 3 in NOLA is Sunday, and this is our one day to tour the city and enjoy ourselves by taking in the sights rather than doing service. Some of the group headed off to church in the morning, and then by about 10am we were headed to the French Quarter.  Our first stop was Café Du Monde for some beignets and coffee. Watching videos of Hurricane Katrina After that we took a trip to the Louisiana State Museum in Jackson Square. This museum has a pretty extensive exhibit documenting what took place during Hurricane Katrina - from the levy breaks, to the emergency response, to the firsthand personal accounts. To see photos [...]

2012-12-17T21:56:07+00:00 December 17th, 2012|ACE and Alternative Breaks 2012 in NOLA|

Preparing a house for its new owner

At the house on Salcedo On day 2 we were split between two houses. Three students stayed at the house we worked on yesterday - the house on S. Salcedo Street. These three were helped by two different shifts of NOLA Jesuit HS students; one group of about seven came from morning until lunch, and then another group came from noon until the end of the day. The eight of us who went to a different house were working on cleaning and make-ready. This house was a duplex where the homeowner will live in one unit while renting the other one out in order to help pay the mortgage. We primarily cleaned up the rental unit - touching up [...]

2012-12-16T17:12:06+00:00 December 16th, 2012|ACE and Alternative Breaks 2012 in NOLA|

Rebuilding homes in NOLA

The Dedman College Center for Academic-Community Engagement (ACE) is participating in the Alternative Breaks trip to New Orleans in December. Participants in the trip, which is co-sponsored by ACE and the office of Community Engagement and Leadership, are working with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans.

2012-12-18T17:36:32+00:00 December 15th, 2012|ACE and Alternative Breaks 2012 in NOLA|