SCI Alternative Spring Break
Each year, students in the School of Computing and Information embark on a 10-day Alternative Spring Break trip where they travel to another country to complete technical skills-based service learning projects that benefit the local community. This experience allows students to put their education into practice, but not all students can afford to participate. Your gift will help cover the costs related to the Alternative Spring Break trip and ensure that all selected students have the ability to participate in this meaningful experience.
Started through a partnership with Pitt’s Office of Pittserves and our community partner, United Planet, in 2017, nine SCI students traveled to Quito, Ecuador where they taught basic skills such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to middle school students, as well as brought the school’s computer lab up to speed.
The second year cohort consisted of eight students who also traveled to Quito to help create a stable network of computers for an NGO-backed dialysis clinic by conducting security scans and updates on the computers. In addition, students developed a how-to manual on how to create a database for current and historical patient data, which will help the clinic make better treatment decisions and reference patient data faster.
In 2020, we hope to send two groups—one to Quito and one to the Galapagos region to complete even more service learning projects that will have a lasting impact on the local communities.
About Our Students:
The students who participate in Alternative Break have a desire to make a difference. They are hand-selected through an application and interview process and go through eight to 10 weeks of training sessions on topics such as power and privilege, asset-based community engagement, and the value of community engagement through direct service learning projects.
How You Can Help:
Your donations will allow all students, particularly those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, to engage in this impactful opportunity. Donations – however large or small – will be used to cover airfare, lodging, meals, and excursions for the 10-day trip for each student.