Spring break is often a time for students to let loose or relax for a week. For some it may mean a trip to Cabo and for others it might be a time to visit friends and family back home. For students in Join Us Making Progress (JUMP), it means travelling around the country to help those that are less fortunate.
JUMP is a branch of the Associated Students here on campus, and works as a student-run non-profit. It gives students the opportunity to work in community service and help out in different places around the world. Through JUMP, students can volunteer for many different programs.
One group of students was sent to Tucson to work to expand healthcare access by providing locals with access to professionals willing to help those in need of affordable health care. The students went to different lower income neighborhoods to make residents more aware of the opportunity for healthcare.
This volunteer work was done through organizations such as “Enroll America” and “Get Covered America,” both non-profits working to get people enrolled in health care.
The students went door-to-door to ensure people got the message, and would even provide them with a follow up call to make sure they were able to sign up. One of the reasons JUMP decided to work in Tucson was the fact that so many different communities of people live in Tucson and it would be a good learning experience. They even caught the attention of the local news station, and a story was broadcasted on TV.
Elizabeth Esparza, a junior who took part in the alternative spring break, said, “One significant part of alternative breaks is definitely learning about a social issue that you may not have known much about and getting to do that in maybe a different setting.”
Esparza also said that students are able to get out of their comfort zones.
“This is really significant for a lot of students because, sometimes when they get out of their regular setting, they become more open to the learning experience and begin to understand the issues better,”said Esparaza.
Not only were students in JUMP sent to Tucson to help provide people with health care, but also to help with other public health issues.
They helped out with a group by the name of Project C.U.R.E., a non-profit group dedicated to sending medical supplies and other goods to people in third world countries that could not otherwise gain access to such materials.
JUMP offered spring break opportunities outside of just Tucson, all of which had different goals in mind.
Some of the other opportunities included trips to Las Vegas, Portland, Humboldt and a trip throughout California.
In Las Vegas, JUMP targeted poverty. In Portland students helped out with hunger and homelessness. In the trip to Humboldt students worked to help out the environment. All of these trips conducted by different teams in JUMP.
Be on the lookout next year if you are interested in an opportunity like this, because you too can take an alternative spring break next year.
When Esparza was asked what she would say to anyone interested in partaking in the group she answered, “Do it! It’s honestly the best way to spend your spring break, and you get to walk away with an amazing service experience, more knowledge about social issues, and a whole group of new friends.”
Applications for next year go out mid-September. JUMP is hiring. Go to Seawolf Jobs or access the application on OrgSync at orgsync.com/20936/forms/102078. The JUMP office is located in the Student Center for anyone interested.