Take an Alternative Winter Break in Florida



Volunteers from Madison College went to the Florida Everglades last year to help clean up storm damage.

Cassandra Cullen, Music Director

Winter break is closer than you think. It’s almost time to kick back on the beach in Florida feeling the sand in your toes…or in your sneakers if you’re planning on heading to Homestead, Florida for alternative winter break with only nine other Madison College students. Alternative winter break is a great chance to volunteer your time where you normally wouldn’t be able to and this year the students are heading to The Everglades National Park.

They will be helping with beach clean-up and trail clearing from the recent hurricanes, and moving the invasive species that threaten the ecosystem of the area.

Last year, the students went to Huston, Texas and helped those affected by the flooding. “The homeowners in the neighborhood (the students) were primarily elderly” and they needed the help “because they couldn’t do it themselves. They were so appreciative that college students were coming to help them… it makes it all worth it,” said Renee Alfano, Director of Student Life, while talking about past experiences. The trip has always been put on by the Volunteer Center and Center for Student Life the last decade and has been a success every time. Each year, students have come away with better leadership skills from what they learned during their time helping others.

The total cost for the trip is $550 and includes the flight there and back, the transportation, the hostel stay, food, the educational program, and a Volunteer Center t-shirt. The deadline to sign up is Nov. 1 and you must be enrolled in, at least, one degree-credit class for the year. It’s filling up fast, so you may have to be interviewed for a spot. You can register for the trip online by typing in the word “alternative” through the Madison college website.