When a group of 13 NYIT students arrived in the city of Carmonial in the Dominican Republic for Alternative Spring Break, they were told their itinerary would be changing. Instead of helping with house repairs, they would now help build a home for an elderly woman.
The students took the news in stride and immediately rolled up their sleeves and got to work. The service learning program (which also includes an Alternative Winter Break) is run by International and Experiential Education at NYIT in coordination with Bridges to Community, an international not-for-profit organization with a two-part mission to improve the lives of impoverished communities in developing countries through service trips, and to educate volunteers so that they become aware of the connections people share and help make a positive impact in the lives of others.
“I went on this trip because I wanted to experience something outside of my comfort zone and work with different personalities towards a greater cause,” said NYIT student Gianna D’Aloia.
For one week the group worked with locals to build a new home for a woman in need. Through this experience, they learned about another culture, witnessed first-hand the hardships members of the community face, and created lifelong bonds.
“The experience was life changing,” said D’Aloia. “I was able to see a side of myself I didn’t even know existed. I worked hard when I was needed, laughed, and made great friends. Most importantly I got to give back in a productive and helpful way.”
Apply for the next Alternative Break trip to the Dominican Republic (January 2018).
Photos by NYIT student Gianna D'Aloia.