University of Central Florida students will rescue animals, protect the environment and help others rebuild their lives during next week’s Spring Break.
Physical Therapy Instructor Jennifer Tucker will lead nine Physical Therapy students and two others on a trip to Kingston, Jamaica. UCF students have traveled to Jamaica to help orphans for the past six years, and they are part of an ongoing partnership with the Florida Hospital Outreach program SHARES International.
Tucker’s team will provide aid at two homes for special needs children, where they will hold educational sessions for the caregivers and interact with the children.
Zachary Walker, who is earning his doctorate degree in Exceptional Education, will lead a different group of students to Jamaica through the group Students for the Poor. The organization gives students from the United States the opportunity to raise awareness and provide support for the poor in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Fifteen other students and a faculty member from the College of Education will spend six days in Kingston, where they’ll visit orphanages, schools and hospitals and help build a house for a family in need.
Additionally, teams of students and faculty advisers will make 13 trips to seven states and Puerto Rico as part of Alternative Spring Break, which is coordinated through Volunteer UCF. ASB places teams in communities across the nation to take part in service projects and learn about social issues.
More than 130 students and 15 faculty members will make ASB trips. Projects this year include:
— Students volunteering in Chestertown, Md., will assist with the rescue and placement of abandoned border collies at the Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue.
— In San Juan, Puerto Rico, students will rescue homeless and abused dogs and groom, feed and play with them.
— In Key West, students will work with Team O.C.E.A.N. to inform boaters and other visitors about the region’s unique coral reef habitat and how to best protect it.
— A team will travel to Virginia Beach, Va., to assist with EQUI-KIDS’ efforts to help those with disabilities learn freedom and self-awareness through therapeutic horseback riding.
— Other ASB projects include helping the YMCA of Savannah, Ga., participating in the reconstruction of New Orleans and working toward hunger relief in Charlotte, N.C.