April 01, 2014

Rebuild the Shore

For many, spring break, is a time to get away; a time to relax and regroup before the beginning of a new trimester.  But, for a group of dedicated students, it was a chance to make a difference.  Alternative spring break is a volunteer program offered to Johnson and Wales students, 2014's called Rebuild the Shore.  This year students spent time in New Jersey, rebuilding houses destroyed by Sandy.  This is what NSO member Samantha Riley thought about her experience.

      The trip was honestly one of the best weeks of my life. It was an eye-opening, inspiring and extremely empowering experience that affected me physically, mentally and emotionally. I did not know how much the trip would affect me until afterwards and that was one hundred and ten percent correct. I left behind the old me in Newark, New Jersey and brought back the new me to school. I am now someone who is not afraid to stand up for a cause I believe in, a strong leader, I appreciate everything and live each day to the fullest. The new me can also put up insulation and dry wall sheets confidently by myself. I could not have said or done that before this trip.
      I would do another trip like this in a heartbeat. Throughout the week the Rebuild the Shore group had the opportunity to meet and hear the stories of people that were affected by the storm. Despite all the destruction, everyone we talked to were the most optimistic and positive people. The close-knit group of eight other students and two advisers became like family to me and I cannot have imagined going on the trip with anyone else. Those people were the ones who gave me words of encouragement, supported, pushed me to be the best, and had me laughing and smiling the entire trip. One quote on the wall at Jakeabob's summed up the entirety of the week and the overall mindset of all the people down at the Jersey Shore, it said, "Dear Sandy, You can't wash away hope, you only watered it so more hope can grow."

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