ASB trip complemented career goals for Poole College junior
April Gibbs, a Poole College junior, participated in an Alternative Service Break (ASB) project earlier this year that took her to San Francisco, Calif.
“This experience was like nothing I had ever done before,” said Gibbs, a junior in business administration with a concentration in operations and supply chain management and a minor in agriculture business management.
The focus of her ASB experience was homelessness in the GLBT community and her team partnered with two service organizations: Project Open Hand and Glide.
“Project Open Hand operates as a meal delivery and pick up service for people in the area affected by HIV and AIDS. They also have a grocery center for those who are still well enough to cook their own meals,” she said.
“Glide was a much closer experience with the homeless community. We served hundreds of people for dinner in a matter of a couple hours. The amount of food that Glide serves on a daily basis is astonishing and our group was able to experience it by collecting tickets, passing trays and bussing tables,” she said.
In their free time, “we explored the city and focused on the GLBT history in the community. We visited places such as the Castro, the Harvey Milk Museum and the National Center for Lesbian Rights,” she said.
The community in San Francisco was very welcoming and friendly, she said. “Whenever we shared who we were and what we were doing in San Francisco, people were extremely impressed and appreciative of our efforts,” she said. “They also surprised that we chose to perform community service over spring break rather than sit on a beach somewhere!”
Gibbs said she was inspired to participate in the ASB experience by her sister, who went on four ASB trips while in college. “She had such a great time and prompted me to participate as well. I chose the San Francisco trip because it was a city that I had always wanted to visit and I had also been looking for a better way to get involved in the GLBT community,” she said.
“Through ASB, I was able to see a new city, meet a group of new people with similar interests as mine, add a great service experience to my resume and learn a tremendous amount about a community that I knew little about,” she said, adding, “I am sure that this is a common thread amongst everyone who has participated in an ASB trip in the past.”
“This trip complimented my career goals in a way that I was not expecting at all,” Gibbs said. “Everywhere we went, the people that worked at the organizations were extremely passionate about what they did. They all enjoyed going to work everyday and felt like they were truly giving back to the community. It is very important to me to end up in a job that I am happy and proud to go to every morning. It opened my eyes to the possibility of being involved in a business that is not focused on making money, but rather helping the community and those in need,” she said.
“This program is so wonderful; I could talk about it for days. The significance of my trip to San Francisco is almost too hard to put into words on paper.” Gibbs had submitted her responses via an email interview for this story.