Students spend spring break helping New Orleans community


Students and The Green Project volunteer organizer pose with ‘Rams Up’ signs after a full day of recycling paint. (Photo courtesy of Chatashia Brown).

During spring break, Assistant Director for Student Diversity and Inclusion Programs Chatashia Brown and Residence Life Coordinator Samantha Wemple drove 13 students to New Orleans,
Louisiana to volunteer with local organizations, Broadmoor Food Pantry and The Green Project.

As assistant director, Brown became in charge of planning and executing Alternative Spring Break (ASB) when she took over providing service projects for the university.

“This is my first one, but I was informed that I’d be in charge of [ASB] throughout my time at Wesleyan. I’ve noticed a lot of things that I literally don’t know how it’s going to be until I see how it turns out. So, next time I’d like to better plan scheduling both volunteer activities and extracurricular activities throughout and give the students more time to explore,” she said.

Brown said Broadmoor Food Pantry and Green Project were excited to have 15 people volunteer with them. “We’ve got a lot of good feedback from the organizations that we’ve worked with. I’ve heard multiple times from students that they’re enjoying the trip. So, I think overall, [ASB] was a success.”

One student who attended the trip, first year marketing major, Shaiza Liaqat said she felt ASB was such a good opportunity because she got to meet and know more people and build relationships while learning something new every day.

Liaqat’s favorite volunteer site was the Green Project, where students got to recycle old paint and make new paint. “It’s something so different and I’ve never tried that before. So, I thought that was really cool.”

Another student, first year computer science major, Aksh Patel said his favorite moment on the whole trip was using the paint mixer to combine many gallons of recycled paint and create new usable paint, which the students dubbed, ‘Wesleyan White.’

“One thing I would want to improve about this trip is to make it like a two or three-month long trip,” he said.