News Releases

Ithaca College Students Head North and South for Spring Break Community Service

ITHACA, NY — Some Ithaca College students will spend their Spring Break on the beach while others will fly from island to island — all in the name of providing service to others.

Several dozen students will travel south March 12–20 to take part in community service projects in New Orleans, Louisiana; Pensacola, Florida; Washington, D.C.; Columbus, Georgia; and Galveston, Texas. At the same time, a trio of students will go in the opposite direction as they travel north, to Alaska, to assist residents in rural communities with preparing their federal income tax returns.

“The overarching goal of Alternative Spring Break is to immerse students in a service-oriented program in which they can achieve personal and professional growth through civic engagement,” said Don Austin, assistant director of community service and leadership development in the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs. “Participants return to campus with a greater sense of how they can become involved in their local communities and — for some — how public service might be a part of their post-college career plans.”

Gulf Coast Restoration
Pensacola, Florida

Students will work through Community Collaborations International on a coastal wetland restoration project. CC International will invite guest speakers to talk to students about the importance of Gulf Coast restoration in the wake of the BP oil spill as well as the impact of natural disasters on this sensitive environmental area.

Rebuild NOLA
New Orleans, Louisiana

Students will work with the organization Phoenix of New Orleans to help rebuild homes in the 7th Ward and the mid-city area. Students will have the opportunity to engage in educational discussions and presentations involving social, political, cultural and economic issues in post-Katrina New Orleans. The City of Ithaca and the 7th Ward established a sister-city relationship following Hurricane Katrina.

Urban Experience
Washington, D.C.

Students will work with local nonprofits involved in issues of homelessness and poverty, while exploring our nation’s capital from a social justice perspective. They will have the opportunity to interact with students participating in the college’s Washington semester program as well as Ithaca alumni living and working in the area.

Habitat for Humanity
Columbus, Georgia

The Ithaca College chapter of Habitat for Humanity will return to Columbus to take part in the Collegiate Challenge. In conjunction with NeighborWorks, they will join with students from other colleges to help build one house and finish work on another six.

RHA Alternative Spring Break
Galveston, Texas

Sponsored by the Ithaca College Residence Hall Association, students will participate in a life-changing experience full of community building projects and activities.

Volunteer Tax Preparation

Two undergraduate accounting majors and an MBA accounting student will travel to Alaska as part of a program that provides free tax assistance and related services to rural Alaskans who do not have access to quality tax services due to low income, language barriers and geographic location. Sponsored by the Alaska Business Development Center’s Volunteer Tax & Loan Program, participants from Ithaca and four other colleges will visit the Aleutians, North Slope, Bristol Bay, Yukon Delta and other regions where village populations are typically less than 300 people and the only means of transportation into the community is via small aircraft.

For more information on the Alternative Spring Break program, contact Don Austin at (607) 274-3222 or