While high school students typically associate Spring Break with trips to the beach or a week of relaxation, 38 teens joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County for the 4th Annual Alternative Spring Break (ASB) March 26-31 and dedicated 508 hours of community service to a variety of local nonprofit organizations and community sites. ASB is a free opportunity offered each year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County for teens to experience, discuss and understand community issues in a meaningful way while earning up to 35 community service hours.
“It is amazing to have so many young people who are willing to spend their Spring Break giving back,” said Aaron Cook, Teen Engagement Coordinator at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County.
The teens successfully completed 10 different service projects for various nonprofit agencies and community partners, including sorting and packing food for local individuals and families with All Faiths Food Bank, prepping horses and cleaning facilities for Prospect Riding Center and playing games and leading activities at Girls Inc.
“I really wanted to help the community like the way Boys & Girls Club has helped me, and give back this Spring Break,” said Christina P., a junior at Sarasota High School and Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club member.
Other partners that benefited from the students’ efforts included Easter Seals Southwest Florida, Habitat for Humanity, Harvest House, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Sarasota Parks & Rec and Friendship Centers.
“Normally, during Spring Break, I would just hang out at my house, work on my car or hang out with my friends,” said Jacob A., a junior at Bradenton Christian. “ASB is a great experience that you can personalize, and give back to a cause with a mission that you’re interested in.”