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St. Norbert College Students to Take Part in TRIPS Spring Break Service Program

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From St. Norbert College, February 23, 2016
by Erich Wegenke,, 920-403-3089

This spring break, five groups of St. Norbert College students will travel to different destinations around the country to take part in the TRIPS alternative break service program. Organized by the college's Sturzl Center for Community Service & Learning, TRIPS (an acronym for Turning Responsibility Into Powerful Service) challenges students to put their beliefs into action by spending a week serving various communities throughout the United States. Each trip focuses on a different social issue. The Spring 2016 TRIPS programs and their participants are listed below.

Friends With Disabilities (March 18-26, 2016)
Clinton, Iowa
This group will provide friendship and support to the L'Arche community, which is dedicated to the creation and growth of homes, programs and support networks for people who have intellectual disabilities. The TRIPS participants will work with the L'Arche community to make known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities, to foster the development of communities that respond to members' changing needs, and to engage with local cultures. Participants: Shannon Salter (Milwaukee, Wis.), Amalia Burmesch (Fredonia, Wis.), Kaisa Davison (Green Bay, Wis.), Margaret Davit (Rockford, Ill.), Molly Farrell (Lake Bluff, Ill.), Abby McIntyre (Menomonee, Wis.).

Affordable Housing - Christmas In Action (March 19-26, 2016)
Spartanburg, S.C.
This group will work with Christmas In Action, a non-profit organization that rehabilitates the homes of elderly, disabled and otherwise disadvantaged homeowners to prevent substandard housing and stop these people from being forced into nursing homes. The TRIPS students will work on home repair projects alongside other volunteers and partners throughout the community.
Participants: Gretchen Stutz (Fond du Lac, Wis.), Margaret Uselman (Madison, Wis.), Caytie Joe Boknevitz (Milwaukee, Wis.), Sarah Joerger (Reedsville, Wis.), Jakob Kasten (De Pere, Wis.), Maggie Knecht (Weyauwega, Wis.), Conor Lowery (Hinsdale, Ill.), Mikaela Nowak (Franklin, Wis.), Katherine Potter (Milwaukee, Wis.), Whitney Schaffner (Germantown, Wis.), Daniel VandeWalle (De Pere, Wis.), Owen Ward (Mequon, Wis.).

Affordable Housing - Habitat for Humanity (March 19-26, 2016)
Little Rock, Ark.
This group of students will experience the rich culture of the South while working alongside Habitat for Humanity volunteers and people who are working toward their Habitat homes. They will spend a week painting, building and restoring homes with other volunteers and homeowners, as the homeowners need to provide "sweat equity" hours in order to obtain their homes. They will also help with projects in the ReStore, a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Participants: Olivia Tarlton (Green Bay, Wis.), Kea Schmuhl (Brandon, Wis.), Hannah Deboth (Appleton, Wis.), Abbie Gorman (Libertyville, Ill.), Mary Holz (Milwaukee, Wis.), Jamie Karrels (Grafton, Wis.), Katelin Selner (Luxemburg, Wis.), Corie Stingl (Greenfield, Wis.), Emily Tavares (Chicago, Ill.), Ingrid Timm (Oconomowoc, Wis.).

Urban Poverty - Detroit (March 19-26, 2016)
Detroit, Mich.
Participants in this service project will have opportunities to learn about the rich history of the city of Detroit. In collaboration with other colleges and universities, members of this group will attempt to create sustainable change in Detroit, with a focus on urban poverty. They will work in a variety of ways to help bring about sustainable change, working alongside the CASS Community. Participants: Erin Knipp (Manitowoc, Wis.), Adam Laluzerne (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.), Victor Garcia (Green Bay, Wis.), Tyler Hacker (Green Bay, Wis.), Enya Roach (Oshkosh, Wis.), Kendra Simon (De Pere, Wis.), Aaron Waldoch (Greenfield, Wis.).

Urban Education - Milwaukee (March 20-24, 2016)
Milwaukee, Wis.
Students participating in this trip will work at St. Anthony School and focus on helping the students learn about what it means to go to college. These students will work at the school for one week alongside St. Norbert College alumni. They will use their skills as pre-service teachers in front of the classroom.
Participants: Hannah Kestly (Oneida, Wis.), Nicole Gardner (Green Bay, Wis.), Brianna Born (Sheboygan, Wis.), Erin Cohoon (Woodridge, Ill.), Michael Harder (Oconomowoc, Wis.), Fiona Holahan (Milwaukee, Wis.), Anna Shallue (De Pere, Wis.), Lindsay Sheehan (Colgate, Wis.), Abigail Vandenhouten (Wales, Wis.), Ashley Walther (Kenosha, Wis.).

Children's Health - Tennessee (March 19-25, 2016)
Memphis, Tenn.
This group of students will spend time at LeBonheur Children's Hospital, where their main focus will be on the children and their families. The St. Norbert College student volunteers will provide an opportunity for parents to seek rest and find time to take a break from the demands of taking care of their child. The volunteers will have the opportunity to visit other organizations related to children's health, including residential facilities for the families of hospitalized children. Another group traveled to this site during Winter Break.
Participants: Brooke Draxler (Athens, Wis.), Brennan Schneider (Menomonee Falls, Wis.), Paige Bonner (Milwaukee, Wis.), Jenna Decker (Dunbar, Wis.), Hannah Fusfeld (Greenleaf, Wis.), Vincent Mastrodomenico (Bloomingdale, Ill.), Alyssa Polequin (Escanaba, Mich.), Brenna Rathsack (Appleton, Wis.), Annika Wallander (Waukesha, Wis.), Danny Wilson (Palatine, Ill.).

For more information on the TRIPS program, contact Jennifer Nissen, assistant director of community service and learning at the Sturzl Center, at

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