Alternative Break to Asheville, NC

By Danielle Golinski, Career Advising Fellow

As Kristen alluded to in her previous post, I also had the pleasure to join in an Alternative Fall Break this past weekend.  Myself, another fellow staff advisor, 2 phenomenal student leaders, 9 other students, and 2 passenger vans, made its way to Asheville and Black Mountain, North Carolina. Our trip revolved around community engagement and working with a charter school Art Space. Art Space is a K-8 school which has a focus on the integration of the arts in and out of the classroom. The brightly colored hallways of the school showcase the true talent and passion that the students share and that the teachers encourage. The school focuses on the experiential approach, and encourages all to explore, create, and achieve wonderful things.

New to the North Carolinian area, not knowing much about Asheville (but hearing wonderful things), and having very little knowledge on the concept of a charter school, I became wide-eyed and anxious about what the next few days would hold.  My daily mantra since arriving to NC 3 months ago has been to “keep an open mind”, and keep an open mind I did!  All aboard!

Our trip consisted of getting a tour of the school Saturday afternoon and starting with some outside work which continued through Sunday. Redeveloping steps between two fields, cutting back bushes and weeds behind the storage shed, pulling up, pulling down, flipping over, and aerating heavy pieces of turf and then reflipping, resizing, pulling back up, and stapling to keep in place, graveling, and making a path for the children were just some of the many tasks completed by the entire team. As you can probably tell, we did a lot of work with the turf that they had on their playing area, and boy, it certainly took every single one of us to get the job completed. Through our reflections each night, many of the students reflected on how hard it was to move the turf around, but that they were able to recognize and appreciate that it was a project that they couldn’t do alone. It was the true definition of team work. They also spent time reflecting of the point that the school staff was so appreciative of this project completed because it was not a project they could have done on their own. It took 15 strong bodies and many hours of labor to complete it, but the job was done!

A few snap shots from our time together at Art Space. The top picture is the last picture we took after working all day at location. You can also see one picture of the entire team moving around the turf. Naturally, I had to include a picture of our luncheon spot, pure deliciousness - NC bbq.
A few snap shots from our time together at Art Space. The top picture is the last picture we took after working all day at location. You can also see one picture of the entire team moving around the turf. Naturally, I had to include a picture of our luncheon spot, pure deliciousness – NC bbq.

As we worked really hard during the day, we had time for exploring and sightseeing in the afternoon/evening hours.

Some pictures from around Asheville and Black Mountain. We saw an absolutely gorgeous water fall in Black Mountain.
Some pictures from around Asheville and Black Mountain. We saw an absolutely gorgeous water fall in Black Mountain.
Have to take a trip selfie! What a great group of students this was! Could not be more proud of their leadership, reflection, and hard work.
Have to take a trip selfie! What a great group of students this was! Could not be more proud of their leadership, reflection, and hard work.

This trip was the definition of leadership and giving back. All members – initially strangers – became a tight knit group over the 4 day excursion. We shared memories, laughs, and beautiful views together. We learned through reflection, what it truly means to give back and to help those who are in need. We experienced what it was like to be selfless during our fall break, to keep an open mind, and step outside of the “Elon bubble” to live and to learn fully.

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Author: Danielle G.

Danielle Golinski will be serving as one of two Career Advising Fellows for the Student Professional Development Center. She serves as a liaison between the students at Elon University and the SPDC. Before arriving at Elon, she earned a M.Ed in School Counseling from Rivier University in New Hampshire where she worked as a Graduate Assistant for Student Success. Prior to completing her Master’s program, Danielle attended the University of New Hampshire where she received her B.S. in Psychology, with a minor in Nutrition. Danielle has spent time working for the non-profit organization Big Brothers Big Sisters as a Match Support Specialist, and for Work Opportunities Unlimited as a Career Resource Specialist. In her role as a fellow she is devoted to helping students work towards clarification of their professional and educational goals through self-reflection and experiential learning. With a focus on interests, strengths, and values Danielle works with students in all areas of professional development. She also partners with Greek Life and other organizations across campus to provide career-related programs and drop-in advising hours in an effort to meet student’s needs in a way that is convenient for them. Education/Training M. Ed., 2014, School Counseling, Rivier University, Nashua, NH B.A., 2011, Psychology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH Professional Interests/Background Career advising, professional development, positive psychology in career development, career services in higher education, mentoring, school counseling, and client-centered therapy Professional Activity North Carolina Association of Colleges and Employers (NCACE), Member 2014-Present Personal Interests New to the area, Danielle enjoys exploring all that North Carolina has too offer in regards to both indoor and outdoor recreation. During her free time she enjoys working out, experimenting with new recipes, being crafty, and trying to find as many things that Sriracha tastes good on. I can help you with: Career Exploration Connecting you with the Career Services Department for Support Cover Letters Interviewing Skills/Mock Interviews Networking Resumes

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