This archived article was written by: Austin Ashcraft
Each year over spring break, the SUN Center sends a group of students out for a week-long service project. This year is no exception, as a group of students are preparing to spend their spring break at Navajo Mountain, Utah, doing service for elderly and disabled people on part of the reservation.
“Breakaway is my favorite service project of the year,” remarks SUN Center Vice-President Elcio Dutra. “It is a lot of fun, and you really feel like you make a difference.”
This trip will be the second time down to the Navajo Mountain site, as last year’s group traveled to the same place. “When we were getting ready to leave Navajo Mountain last year,” explains Daniel Luke, who is helping to spearhead this year’s trip, “our Navajo guide, Hank Stevens, told us how impressed he was with our students and that he wanted us to come back next year. Navajo Mountain is a remote, sacred site to the Navajo, and it was a great honor to us and to USU Eastern to be invited back to a place such as this.”
The service projects will differ a little bit from last year. While last year’s group spent the week mainly pruning trees and digging holes for septic tanks, this year’s projects will include home construction and even installing solar energy systems.
“I am so excited to go on this trip,” exclaims Shanna Frame, “Last summer, I went to Ecuador on a similar trip, and absolutely loved it! It was an incredible experience. I just love the look on people’s faces when you give up something precious to you to do something for them.”
“Last year, I really enjoyed going and seeing a new place and getting to talk to people from a different culture,” explains Keera Allred, SUN Center vice president, “I think it is really interesting to see how people can live on so little and they are content to live with what little they do have. It was really humbling to see how they really appreciated what little we were able to do for them. I will be nice to get away from the world for a week. I think there were some great friendships built on the trip last year, and I am looking forward to getting to know this year’s group.”