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Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs

Alternative Break Leaders

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Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs

Office Location:
715 S. New St.
Commonwealth Hall, Lower Level
Enter at Student Health Services
West Chester, PA 19383


Phone: 610-436-3379
Fax: 610-430-5600

Alternative Break Trip Leaders

Samantha Eden Headshot

Samantha Eden

Hello there! My name is Samantha Eden and I’m a senior Psychology major and Youth Empowerment and Urban Studies (YES) minor. Last year, I participated in the Alternative Break (AB) trip to Pittsburgh focused on serving the LGBT community impacted by HIV/AIDS. I enjoyed being able to work alongside a diverse group of students while learning about how to assist underserved and misrepresented communities. Prior to my AB experience, I volunteered at an assisted living home where I designed interactive programs for residents and I served as a teaching fellow for Breakthrough of Greater, where I facilitated a classroom of eighth grade students. I also served as the Community Service Senator for the WCU Student Government Association and I worked as an America Reads Mentor at Coatesville Kids to College, tutoring 3rd through 5th grade students. This year, I’m looking forward to leading the Pittsburgh trip and continuing the work we started last year with our partnerships while engaging others in the wonderful AB experience that I had last year. You should apply for this trip if you are interested in spending your spring break feeling fulfilled and empowered! 

Jessica Huff Headshot

Jessica Huff

Hello! My name is Jessica Huff and I am a "super-senior" Early Grades Preparation and Special Education dual major, with minors in Autism Education and Psychology! In addition to being an Alternative Break trip leader, I am the fundraising chairperson for Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and currently serve as a 2017-2018 Peace Corps Campus Ambassador. In my free time I enjoy reading, being outdoors, spending time with loved ones, and giving back to communities both at home and abroad. In spring of 2015, I participated in an Alternative Break service-learning experience that addressed the need for supplying and implementing educational resources in under-developed schools in Costa Rica. This opportunity greatly influenced my occupational endeavors and has been a catalyst for ongoing international service. This year, I will be leading the Guatemala Cross-Educational Experience trip, which will focus on areas of social justice and advocacy for individuals with disabilities. We will work collaboratively as a team to facilitate activities and events in local schools and agencies throughout indigenous villages surrounding Lago de Atitlan. If you’re looking to strengthen your leadership skills and impact a foreign community, apply to join us on our journey!

Ray LeChein Headshot

Ray LeChien

Hey! My name is Ray LeChien and I am a fourth-year Communication Studies major with minors in Women's and Gender Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies. I decided to become a trip leader because I am always looking for opportunities to learn and I want to help others squeeze as much from their life as I hope to from my own. Last year, I went on the Alternative Break trip to Philadelphia focused on creating sustainable food resources, so I understand how much of a life-altering learning experience the AB program can be. For this upcoming year, I am proud to say I will be helping lead a group with the same mission. I am looking forward to meeting new people and seeing what unique perspectives they bring to the table; people are power because knowledge is power, and there is much strength in an informed community. 

Tyler Lonergan headshot

Tyler Lonergan

Hello everyone! My name is Tyler and I am a junior Middle Grades Education major with a minor in reading and math. As I begin my junior year, I have started to reflect on my time at West Chester thus far and have realized two things I want accomplish before my undergraduate career concludes. First, I want to travel with other students in some type of learning experience. Second, I want to further develop my leadership skills and expand upon the community service opportunities I’ve been a part of. The Alternative Break program is everything that you could want when it comes to traveling, leadership, and service! This will be my first Alternative Break; however, I have contributed many hours of service through the various organizations I am a part of at West Chester. On campus I am the Vice-President of the Student Government Association, a brother of Phi Sigma Pi, and a member of the Orientation Staff. This year, I’ll be leading the youth financial literacy education trip to New York City. I am looking forward to interacting with children, showing them their true potential as great future leaders, and helping them learn some important life skills. If you enjoy working with children, want to develop your leadership skills, and want a memorable spring break of giving, I encourage you to apply for the 2018 Junior Achievement trip.

Mary Oleary

Mary O'Leary

My name is Mary O’Leary and I am a senior undergraduate student studying Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies. I love being involved on campus and am currently the secretary for the BODYpeace club, an active member of Psi Chi Psychology Honors Fraternity, and a faculty research assistant. I also have been involved with the Alternative Break program since my junior year when I led a service trip to Pittsburgh, PA. In Pittsburgh, our group volunteered at the Pittsburgh Aids Task Force, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center and the Hot Metal Bridge Community Center. Overall, that trip taught me the importance of indirect service as well as the importance of forming connections with new people. This year, I’m excited to co-lead the Washington D.C. trip focused on Women’s Rights and Political Engagement and I hope to make an even greater impact through service and advocacy. I am very passionate about the topic and encourage you to apply because it will be a chance to branch out, fight for equality, serve others, and have fun!

N. Sam Pettinati

N. Sam Pettinati

My name is N. Sam Pettinati; I go by Sam because my father goes by Nick, my first name. I'm currently an undergraduate Public Health Major with a Spanish minor. Professionally, I aspire to finish my undergraduate degree and continue on to a career in health services, hopefully on an administrative level. I'm an active member of our campus community: I'm a Leadership Consultant through the office of Student Leadership and Involvement, I'm a trip leader for the Alternative Break program, and I'm the web and technology chair of Phi Sigma Pi and the Friars' Society. In my free time I enjoy volunteering, utilizing any opportunity that arises; I enjoy practicing coding and web development; I enjoy listening to hip hop, rap, R&B, and basically everything under the sun (yes country, yes metal). I am leading the Alternative Break trip over spring break that focuses on HIV prevention, Global Health, Community Health Outreach, and Nutrition Education, in Uganda. The trip is available to all students! We will get to work side by side with community leaders, and stakeholders who will guide our team towards a better understanding of the community problems at play. If you're interested in exploring the world, tackling large systemic issues from the ground up, or making a difference, you can contact me at

NP823346@wcupa.edu

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Becca Seeley Headshot

Becca Seeley

My name is Becca Seeley and I'm a fourth year Communication Studies major from Horsham, Pennsylvania. I became an Alternative Break trip leader because I wanted to get more involved with service learning and volunteering. I knew it would be a great way to strengthen my leadership and communication skills while advocating for a community who needs extra help. I am looking forward to working with the Office of Service Learning and Volunteer Programs and being a leader to other students through service. Outside of the Alternative Break program, I am the Secretary of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, a Transfer Ambassador, and a 2017 Orientation Leader. This year, I'm looking forward to leading the Habitat for Humanity trip focused on issues of affordable housing and homelessness in Burlington, NC! Helping others is so fulfilling for me, and I can't wait to become a positive leader for others while serving the community. Apply for this trip! You will learn the value of a human's most basic need - shelter. Finding affordable housing can put a financial burden on a person and your service will be addressing a prevalent issue. This is a great way to meet other students with the same interest in service as you, strengthen your ability to work with others, and build your communication skills.

Kathleen Tobelmann Headshot

Kathleen Tobelmann

My name is Kathleen Tobelmann and I'm a sophomore nutrition and dietetics major. I'm involved in Student Dietetic Association and Outdoor Adventure Pursuits (OAP) on campus. I joined OAP to help me follow my passion for the outdoors and find my niche here at West Chester. I loved the community so much that I became a trip leader to help make the growing program more well-known! Last year, I went to Earth Village Education (EVE) in Virginia for my alternative spring break trip. We camped out for the week there and helped to tear down an old greenhouse. We learned how to start a fire by rubbing wood, identified wild edible plants and through it all, met some really awesome people! I'm even more excited to lead a similar trip this year and see in what ways we can learn, grow, and connect! Anyone interested in lending a hand, getting outdoors, learning primitive skills, and connecting with others who are interested in the same should join us this spring break!

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