Alternative Breaks - Meet Our Executive Board and Site Leaders
The Alternative Breaks organization would be nothing without all the great people who are a part of it. These people dedicated time, skills, experience and heart to this organization. Below are just a few people of our organization that make a huge difference.
CO-COORDINATORS: Morgan Kinney and Kelly Covey
I’m a 4th year Psychology major with English and Sociology minors and am serving my second year as Co-Coordinator of Alternative Breaks. As a first year, I participated in AB as a trip member, working with developmentally disabled kids and adults at Camp Baker in Chesterfield, VA. My second year, I site led an environmental trip to the Cumberland Trail Conference in Soddy-Daisy, TN. Last year I took up the position of Co-Coordinator and also participated in a trip working on houses in St. Bernard’s Parish, New Orleans. Working with such a fun group of talented and hard-working leaders has made coordinating by far my favorite position that I’ve held both in AB and as an undergraduate here at UMaine. I’m looking forward to another great year with the Officers and Site Leaders, and, of course, with my group headed to Liberty Hall Livestock Rescue in Virginia! A few things I’m involved in outside of AB include the All Maine Women Honor Society, the 2014 Class Council and the Social Psychology Labs on campus.
I am a fourth year Elementary Education major concentrating in Math and Science from Middlebury, Vermont. I am involved in the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority on campus. In 2010-11 I went on a trip to Big Munson Island in the Florida Keys to do beach clean up and trail maintenance. In 2011-12 I went to West Milford, New Jersey to work with underprivileged youth. In 2012-13 I lead a trip to Lignum, Virginia to work with abused and neglected children in a group home. In the summer of 2013 I went to Grand Canyon National Park for the Alternative Breaks Citizenship School. There I did native plant vegetation and hazard tree removal.
SERVICE CHAIR: Josh Morse
My name is Josh Morse and I’m from Hancock, ME. I am in the fourth year studying Political Science and sociology. I am the Service Chair here in Alternative Breaks, meaning I’m in charge of the local service aspect. Other than AB, I’m the Public Relations Chair for the Interfraternity Council and I’m a brother of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.
FUNDRAISING CHAIR: Sarah Nason
My name is Sarah Nason. I am from Camden, Maine. This is my second year doing Alternative Breaks and my first year on the board as the fundraising chair. I am majoring in Environmental Horticulture with a concentration in Landscape Design. Alternative Breaks gave me my first real meaningful and significant experience of my life!
SITE LEADER TRAINER: Terri Bastarache
My name is Terri Bastarache and I am the Site Leader Trainer! I am a fourth year Business Management major with an International Business concentration from Gorham, ME. This is my third year in Alternative Breaks and I have loved every minute of it!
MEMBERSHIP CHAIR: Sydney Trask
My name is Sydney Trask and I am the 2013-14 Secretarial Membership Chair. I am a Junior majoring in Communication Sciences & Disorders and plan to become an Audiologist someday. This will be my second year as a member of Alternative Breaks. Last year, I went on a trip to Lignum, Virginia to ChildHelp–a residential center for abused and neglected children. The trip was truly life changing. Joining Alternative Breaks was easily one of the best decisions I have made at the University of Maine. Aside from Alternative Breaks, I am also involved in Student Government as a Senator, a member of the National Student Speech, Language, and Hearing Association, the Social Chair for the Class of 2015, a Black Bear Leader Coach, and was a member of the 2012-13 Sophomore Eagles Class.
TREASURER: Colby Fortier-Brown
My name is Colby Fortier-Brown and I am the Treasurer of AB. I am a fourth year Bioengineering major with a minor in Business Administration and I am originally from Randolph, Maine. This is my third AB trip. I have been on one trip to homeless shelters in Boston as a general member and I have led one to Florida to work in a children’s hospital and camp. Other organizations I am involved in on campus are Sigma Phi Epsilon, Black Bear Mentors, and the Bioengineering Club.
PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR: Sarah Robinson
I’m a fourth year Mass Communications and New Media double major with a minor in Graphic Design, I am a sister of the Delta Zeta sorority and a tri-chair of Colleges Against Cancer. This is my third year participating in Alternative Breaks and I have loved every minute of it, joining AB was definitely the best decision I’ve made at college. My first year I went to Peace River Refuge in Florida, where we built fences for a nonprofit wildlife sanctuary. My second year I led a trip to Last Chance Ranch in Quakertown, Pennsylvania where we volunteered around the ranch and socialized animals.
SITE LEADER REPRESENTATIVES: Taylor Buotte and Brittany Charette
Taylor and Brittany are Site Leader Representatives, they are the liaisons between all of the site leaders and the Executive Board. They keep all lines of communication open, since all site leaders cannot attend Executive Board meetings. Taylor is co-site leading with Kate McKeown and leading a spring trip to Colorado. This is Taylor’s third year in Alternative Breaks. Brittany is co-site leading with Finn Bondeson and leading a winter trip to Washington D.C. This is Brittany’s fourth year in Alternative Breaks.
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SITE LEADERS: Shelby Conklin and Amanda Richards
Amanda and Shelby will be leading a trip to Pittsboro, NC to work to improve the lives of wildcats at the Carolina Tiger Rescue by completing projects focused on the improvement and maintenance of their facilities. These tasks may include clearing away vines and brush, building or dismantling fences, digging trenches for drainage, or other light construction tasks.
Site website: http://www.carolinatigerrescue.org/
Amanda is a Senior Communications Major with Minors in Business Administration and Psychology from Strong, Maine. She was a part of an Alternative Break trip to New Orleans last year to work with the St. Bernard project.
Shelby is a Senior Economics and Political Science double Major from Saco, Maine. She went on her first Alternative Break trip last year to work with the St. Bernard Project in New Orleans, LA.
SITE LEADERS: Jared Escobar and Corey Lynn Morton
Volunteers will work closely with rescue abused and neglected animals on a farm sanctuary. This will be a unique and wholesome experience by providing care and assistance to the animals as well as the sanctuary that had dedicated itself to making lives better. The work involved is indicative to farm labor with the aims of helping extend the lives of the animals and educate the public on better animal care practices.
Site Website: http://www.woodstocksanctuary.org/
I am a fourth year English/History double major, this is my second year in Alternative Breaks. For my first trip I went to Last Chance Ranch in Pennsylvania, where we worked with abused and neglected animals. Fun fact: I have not shave since December 21, 2012.
I am a senior Anthropology Major with a concentration in Pred-Medical Studies and a Business Administration Minor. I’ve been in AB for 2 years now. My fun fact is that I have touched the infield of Fenway Park and have sat in the home dugout. I’m involved with Greek Life being the Risk Management and Philanthropy Chair for the Panhellenic Council, Senior Senator for Student Government and All Maine Women.
SITE LEADERS: Nora O’Sullivan and Connor O’Sullivan
Camp Vacamas is a summer camp for under privileged youth. The University of Maine Camp Vacamas Alternative Breaks Volunteers will be working with lower income children in after school programs helping them achieve academically, providing them a safe environment to flourish creatively, and building strong friendships and support systems. Volunteers will also be doing reconstruction on campgrounds to help maintain a beautiful summer safe-haven.
Site Website: http://www.vacamas.org/
Nora and Connor:
We are both students at the University of Maine and are close friends. Connor is a junior International Communications major and Nora is a Senior Nursing student. We first met on an Alternative Breaks trip that traveled to a home for abused and neglected children, this is where we both became very passionate about working with kids. We hope to have a very successful volunteering trip to Camp Vacamas this year!
SITE LEADERS: Ani Varjabedian and Christian Labonte
We will be leading our service trip to Liberty Hall Livestock Rescue in Falls Church, Virginia. Liberty Hall Livestock and Rescue is a non-profit, public charity organization that is a safe haven for abused and neglected animals, and also grows, promotes, and sells all organic produce. Our group will be assisting the organization in taking care of the animals, getting our hands dirty in preparation for growing season, and aiding them in whatever they need help with.
Ani and Christian:
We are both undergraduate students at the University of Maine. Christian is a second year Bio/pre-med major from Lewiston, Maine. Ani is a fourth year Zoology major from Middleboro, Massachusetts. Last spring we both served Alternative Breaks doing home reconstruction in West Virginia. This year we are very excited to lead the Liberty Hall Livestock Rescue trip in Falls Church, Virginia.
SITE LEADERS: Morgan Stuart and Casey Weed
We will be leading a trip to Savannah, Tennessee where we will be volunteering at Horsecreek Wildlife Sanctuary and Animal Refuge. We’ll be doing work around the sanctuary, such as trail maintenance, raking leaves, cleaning campgrounds and planting trees, as well as helping out in the refuge’s dog adoption center.
Site Website: http://www.horsecreekwildlife.org/
I am a senior Journalism major, with a minor in Legal Studies, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. For my first AB experience I volunteered at the Cumberland Trail Conference, doing trail work in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. While last year I worked on houses with the St. Bernard’s Project, in New Orleans.
I’m a senior Civil Engineering student, with a serious love for dogs. I’m excited to be going on my third AB trip! In my free time you can usually find me hiking, watching chick flicks, or eating macaroni and cheese (preferably my grandmother’s).
SITE LEADERS: Kate McKeown and Taylor Buotte
We are very excited to announce that this year we will be traveling to Denver, Colorado to work at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Denver Children’s Home! The Children’s Hospital was founded in 1908 and has since ranked among the top 10 children’s hospitals in the nation by providing the highest quality care to pediatric patients. During our service trip, we will be providing and participating in a variety of fun activities for the children who are patients there. The Denver Children’s Home (DCH) is an organization for abused and neglected children. DCH serves over 1,000 children and families annually. DCH is committed to providing children and families who have experienced poverty, abuse, neglect, and limitations due to mental disorders and/or disabilities the opportunity to grow and heal. We will be working with DCH on several maintenance projects around the home. We have an incredible group of enthusiastic volunteers this year and we are very excited to make a difference in the lives of the children of Denver!
Kate and Taylor:
This will be our third year in Alternative Breaks and our second year as site leaders. Our past trips have been to New York to prepare and distribute food to HIV/AIDS patients for God’s Help, Tennessee to construct trails for the Cumberland Trail Conference, and to West Virginia to refurbish low income apartments for the Southern Appalachian Labor School.
SITE LEADERS: Brittany Charette and Finn Bondeson
This years winter trip will be traveling to Washington D.C in early January. While there, we will be working with Food & Friends, an organization dedicated to preparing and delivering meals to people living with life threatening illnesses such as, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
I am a 4th year Marketing Major, and this is my 4th AB trip! On of my favorite experiences in AB so far has been our environmental trip to Florida where our group learned about the restoration process pertaining to Florida’s Coast line after natural disasters using fossilized oyster shells.
I’m a fourth year Civil and Environmental Engineering major from Woodland, Maine. I’ve been in AB for two previous years, traveling to Florida to help with shoreline restoration and to Arizona to assist in the survival of native plants and animals. I look foward to co-leading our trip this year! GO AB!
SITE LEADERS: Lindsay Thornton and Tyler Roy
Our group will be traveling to Homestead, Florida to do Environmental work. We will spend the first three days of our trip working with Biscayne National Park, cleaning up beaches; recycling garbage found on the shore and making sure the area is safe for the turtles that mate there annually, as well as removing invasive plant species from the area surrounding the beach. The last two days we will spend at Monkey Jungle, a monkey research facility in Miami, Florida. Here we will be working in the monkey’s habitats, cleaning and restoring them, as well as learning about and being a part of the research that is done at the facility.
I am a senior Nursing major with a minor in Child Development and Family Relations. I hope to work with the pediatric patient population upon graduation. This will be my third Alternative Breaks trip, but the first time as a site leader.
I am a Biochemistry and Psychology double major. I am a member of the UMaine Track Team. This will be my third trip in AB and my first time site leading as well.
SITE LEADERS: Bailey O’Brien and Andy Estrup
We will be traveling to Vienna, VA this spring to volunteer at The Alternative House, an organization that assists at-risk youth in the greater DC area. We will be spending the bulk of our time interacting directly with these youths through the Teen Center, an after-school program that provides a safe and healthy environment for 7th-12th graders. We will get to help them with homework, promote academic achievement and higher education, as well as participate in games and activities each day. We will spend the rest of our time maintaining the organization’s other facilities, including the Emergency Teen Shelter, Assisting Young Mothers, and the Homeless Youth Initiative.
Site Website: www.thealternativehouse.org
I am a senior English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. This is my second year with Alternative Breaks and I am so excited to lead a trip to The Alternative House with Andy! Joining this organization is one of the best decisions I’ve made. Outside of AB, I direct improv, tutor at the writing center, and I am a member of All Maine Women.
I am a junior Chemical Engineering student. This is my third year as a member of Alternative Breaks; it’s been a positive personal and rewarding experience, and I am really excited about my current role as a site leader within the organization! I’m also a member of Improv in Sanity and a member of the UMaine Golf Club.