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Mar. 28, 2014, 9:25 AM
Since 1987 Vanderbilt students have ventured across the country to conduct community service projects for Alternative Spring Break. Many alumni consider it a highlight of their student experience.
Five years ago Washington, D.C., alumni began hosting ASB students for a potluck dinner while they were in town for their project. The gathering—simply intended to connect similarly service-minded students and alumni—has grown in popularity as 13 chapters welcomed students for potlucks or game-watching parties in 2014.
These gatherings offer the rare opportunity for alumni and students with a common bond to mingle in a relaxed setting. As Washington, D.C., Chapter President Jodie Leeka, BE’10, ME’11, explains, “We value this annual event as a way to thank the students for serving our city.” The students, engaged in a week-long homeless service and education effort, reminded alumni of how they can give back to their local community.
The potluck setting in Leeka’s home helped set a welcoming tone for everyone. “A potluck meal fosters a spirit of community, which is part of ASB’s goal,” she explains. “We enjoyed hearing how ASB has grown over time and sharing our Vanderbilt experiences with the students. Interacting with current students reminded us of our own Vanderbilt memories and fostered awareness of service opportunities in our community.”
Vanderbilt ASB students and alumni shared their excitement over the ASB projects and chapter events on Twitter and Instagram. Enjoy their photos and tweets on this Storify.
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