Hello, my name is Darian Perry. I am a sophomore at the University of Memphis pursuing a nursing degree. Also, I am the student coordinator for Alternative Spring Break Staycation. I can’t fully explain how great of an experience ASB Staycation was for me. Every day of ASB Staycation consisted of service, fun, and new experiences for every one of us. I am so thankful to have the group of people that participated in ASB Staycation because they are the ones who made this week a memorable one for me. Each and every one of the participants had their own personality which made the group diverse yet perfectly bonded. I admired their hard work and dedication which made every service project productive and successful. One of the greatest aspects of every service project we did was the fun that we had while serving. We really enjoyed each other’s company which made it easy for us to work together and make the best of every moment. After participating in ASB last year, I knew that Alternative Spring Break was going to be my plans for Spring Break this year. That is how much of a great experience ASB was for me! Being able to devote my entire Spring Break to serve in the community has been more fun and more memorable than any other Spring Break. I really urge students to participate in Alternative Spring Break. Not only are you serving the community, but you are getting the opportunity to experience new things that you never have before. While participating in ASB Staycation, I learned and experienced A LOT in Memphis. Memphis has so many different things to offer. Throughout the whole week, we were able to explore Memphis. When I say explore Memphis, we were able to get a “taste of Memphis” by going to different local restaurants/dessert places such as the Memphis Pizza Café, the Trolley Stop Market, A. Schwab, the Bar-B-Que Shop, Gus’s Fried Chicken, the Cheesecake Corner, Jerry’s Sno Cones, and Boscos. We were able to experience Memphis by doing a lot of things that Memphis is known for like going to see the Peabody Duck March, touring Beale Street/Cooper Young/ Overton Square, going to the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, taking photos at the three “I Love Memphis” walls (that was definitely an adventure), going on the Memphis
Riverboat Cruise, and going to see The Diary of Anne Frank at the Playhouse on the Square. The places we went to and the things we got to do most of us had never done before. I definitely enjoyed everything about ASB Staycation. It is great to know that there are other universities who have an ASB for their students. Thursday, we had an “ASB collaboration” with Sam Houston State University’s Alternative Spring Break We were able to accomplish our task of tidying up a community garden that was buried beneath leaves, sticks, trash, and grass. We were all amazed at the beauty of the community garden after we had finished the project. Sam Houston State University was a great group of students and thanked us for letting them join our service project. Honestly, all thanks went to them because we definitely couldn’t have tackled that project as swiftly and successfully without their help. Our last service project was with Habitat for Humanity on Friday. They are gearing up for their 2014 Spring Build and we were able to take part in building one of the homes. Many of the participants were able to experience the hard work and dedication it takes to build a home. We participated in roofing, siding, and nailing. I honestly never want to see a hammer and nail again (laughing, but very serious). Overall, our hard work and dedication paid off after we saw the progress that was made toward the completion of the home. Looking back over the week, I must say that I am proud of the way ASB Staycation turned out. It was an AMAZING week!! I would like to give thanks to the people at Knowledge Quest, Shelby Farms, St. John’s Soup Kitchen, Door of Hope, Promise Development Corporation, and Habitat for Humanity for allowing us to serve with them and making their service projects a great experience for us!!! Also, I would like to give a special thank you to Latorria Griffith, our ASB Staycation Advisor, for getting us to our service projects and contributing to all the fun we had this week!