Not Your Typical Spring Break

vucf-blogWhen you hear the words spring break, you usually think of going to the beach or going on a cruise. Ryan Silverstein, a biology major graduating in May, had a different idea for her break this year.

Silverstein went on an alternative spring break to the University of Miami Dunlap Conservation as a part of the Alternative Break Program through UCF. The trip took eight students, one site leader, and one faculty advisor to Broad Key, Florida. During the trip, the volunteers completed clean-ups from the island and  the surrounding mangroves. They also participated in underwater ocean clean-ups in the area around the island and the surrounding waterways. During the last two days, the volunteers assisted  the UM team with their research by tagging and studying sharks.

The Alternative Break Program ( ABP) is one of Volunteer UCF’s many programs. It gives students the opportunity to serve others, grow as individuals, and impact lives. ABP sends teams around the country, and internationally, to engage in community service and learn about a large variety of social issues.

In agreement with that, Silverstein said, “I am very passionate about volunteering and I truly couldn’t think of a better way to spend my spring break. I was very excited about this trip specifically because it was unlike anything I had done before. In addition to being in an impactful service trip, it was very educational and I learned a great deal about coral reef ecosystems and about sharks as well.”

VUCF is dedicated to promoting community service and education on various social issues to the University of Central Florida, through a variety of programs, committees, events, and ongoing projects.

“ABP is an incredible program that gives UCF students the opportunity to travel and take part in an unforgettable service project during their spring break. The trips are based around Volunteer UCF’s various social issues, so students have the opportunity to take part in projects that they find especially meaningful”, said Silverstein, who is the student director of Volunteer UCF.

For more information on the Alternative Break Program, please visit

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