Kimberly Price of Mountain Top, was one of seven Wilkes University students who participated in an alternative spring break trip by volunteering with the Native American Fatherhood and Families Association in Mesa, Ariz.
Alternative spring break offers students an opportunity to perform community service while experiencing a different culture and developing their leadership, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. Guided by association coordinator Warren Kontz, the group traveled to the Maricopa, Yavapai and Apache reservations where they worked in a food bank, cleared a tribal elder’s property of dry brush and trees, and painted signs for social services programs.
Despite the Native Americans’ unease of working with those outside their communities due to a long and troubled history with non-Natives, the students were welcomed into each community as actors of positive change and were given an opportunity to participate in cultural exchanges.
Albert Pooley founded and serves as president of the Native American social services association. Megan Boone Valkenburg, Wilkes coordinator of student development, accompanied the students on the trip.