Austin College Students Participate in an Alternative Spring Bre - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Austin College Students Participate in an Alternative Spring Break

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Sherman, TX---- This spring break, several Austin College students decided to trade their swimsuits and sunscreen for a week of service in Joplin, Missouri. About 40 students participated in what they call an alternative spring break.

Students said the trip was all about helping those in need and that the week- long service trip was a rewarding experience unlike any other.

Stefany Cruz is just one of many Austin College students who ditched the sun and the sand for a more meaningful spring break.

"It was very different because I feel super productive," Cruz said.

"I enjoyed it a lot and it made me feel good to know that I was able to help," Austin College student Andrew McMillian said.

Last Friday, the students arrived in Joplin to help those affected by the EF-5 tornado that killed more than 100 people, injured more than 500 people and destroyed a third of the city in 2011.

"They're still suffering from the damage," Austin College student Huma Butta said. "We went to build houses and to help out the community as they recover."

During the week, students broke up into teams and worked on several service projects. Some of the things they accomplished were cleaning up homes and warehouses, working for a nonprofit organization that provides art materials and education for needy students and demolishing homes.

Students said their work left a lasting impression on the Joplin community.

"They're just really grateful that people still remember them," Butta said.

"Helping out Joplin was just the sweetest thing," Cruz said.

Students participating in the trip were members of several campus organizations including the Austin College Service Station, whose members planned the trip, and the Zeta Chi Beta fraternity. Many of them said they had such a good time last week that they plan to participate in the trip next year.