Follow Abington students' blogs during Alternative Spring Break

Washington, D.C., is home to some of the most powerful people in the United States. But this week, nine Penn State Abington students are connecting with the most powerless residents of our nation -- the homeless and the hungry.

The annual Alternative Spring Break service learning project is a life-changing experience, according to Tracy Reed, coordinator of Student Life Programs at Abington campus. She said the trip, to which students must contribute financially in addition to sacrificing a week’s vacation, helps them overcome stereotypes and bond with the less fortunate.

Reed travels with the students and advises them as they work in soup kitchens, participate in fundraising events and sell newspapers written by the homeless.

The Abington campus students are in different stages of their academic careers and their interests and majors range from English and engineering to the biological and social sciences and physical therapy. The students are: Abdur Akanda, Yaasmeen Ahmad, Arielle Brown, Sabera Bushara, Alex Nunez, Adriana Rodriguez, Dhara Shah, Camille Smalls and Yeasmin Srity.

The trip is sponsored by Amizade Global Service Learning, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that runs action-oriented programs worldwide at sites such as the Navajo nation, Northern Ireland and Ghana.

To follow the Alternative Spring Break blog, go to