Students spend spring break giving back to the community - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Students spend spring break giving back to the community

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(03/05/14) - This isn't the way that most college kids spend their Spring Break.

"No other day, would I wake up in the morning, and go, I get to install insulation today, yeah!" said Elizabeth Shalda, Michigan State student.

It's with that enthusiasm, that students from Michigan and Michigan State are teaming up with Diplomat Pharmacy and spending their time off from school on an Alternative Spring Break trip - one spent sprucing up the St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center on Flint's north end.

"A lot of college is about me. I'm focused on me a lot of the time. It's my classes, my schedule, my work, my time, and I wanted to give this week as a way to give back to the community," said Meg Riegel, UM-Ann Arbor student.

It's with that mindset that these students were motivated to give up a little spring break fun in the sun.

"When I got to Michigan State, I started hearing more and more about the different struggles that they're having with the economy and the struggling communities, and when we implemented the Flint program, I was like, 'I've got to go. I want to go,'" Shalda aid.

The staff at St. Luke's couldn't be more appreciative.

"To have students here is great, because what they're doing right now is really helping us lower our heating bills," said Sister Carol Weber.

This Alternative Spring Break project isn't just about physical labor. St. Luke's plans to have the students use their mental muscles as well.

"We hope to have them tutor some of our students that are here for GED prep as well as our employment preparation men and women," Weber said.

If there's anything that can bring Spartans and Wolverines together, it's helping others - but just like with March Madness, bragging rights still exist.

"I will say that there are more MSU girls up there than Ann Arbor girls installing the installation, so I'm a little proud," Shalda said.

Spartans and Wolverines aren't the only students helping out. Alternative Spring Break will also see students from Virginia Tech and New Mexico State make their way to Flint for community service projects this month as well.

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