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Susquehanna Students to Spend Spring Break Helping Others

Feb. 24, 2010

SELINSGROVE—Eight Susquehanna University students will spend their spring break not basking on a beach, but restoring homes and lives in Atlanta, where unprecedented flooding last September left death and destruction in its wake. The students are members of Susquehanna’s DiRT—“Disaster Relief Team”—a campus organization that helps students and other members of the university community prepare for and respond to disasters locally and around the country. 

From March 6 through 13, the students will tackle everything from home construction to donation sorting to animal shelter support, depending on where needs are greatest. They will stay in volunteer quarters at a local church, along with chaperones Andy Nagy, SU Americorps volunteer, and Renee Sosland, a counselor in the Center for Academic Achievement.

Student activities will be coordinated by Community Collaborations International (CCI), a service organization that has managed more than 3,000 volunteers from more than 60 universities and other groups. CCI visits disaster-impacted communities each fall to determine where volunteers will be needed most during colleges’ upcoming winter and spring breaks. 

“What I hope to accomplish on the trip is helping those in need get back on their feet, even if that means just bringing a smile to their faces for the five days we are going to be there, ” said Chelsey Bennett, a junior creative writing major and treasurer of DiRT. “Helping others, no matter how big or small the task, just makes me who I am.”

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world.  Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education.  Susquehanna students come from 36 states and 12 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation.  The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers.  For more information, visit www.susqu.edu

Karen M. Jones

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