Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - "Till the Winds of Freedom Blow": Working towards rights, justice, and liberation through the lens of black, arab, and queer resistance

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
"Till the Winds of Freedom Blow": Working towards rights, justice, and liberation through the lens of black, arab, and queer resistance
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” - Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

 

Many of us have a root social issue (or two--or three) that for whatever reason pulls at our hearts and preoccupies our minds. Our concern may be based in our personal experiences with any number of things to racism and sexism, class inequality and sexual identity--or it may be based in our empathy for the suffering of people on the other side of the city or the world. Yet with such large structures confronting us, we may feel powerless to respond, to resist, to recreate the world. And as power concedes nothing without a demand, it is up to us to figure out what demands we make and how best to make them. 

 

With studying black, arab and queer organizing in the Bay Area as case studies, we aim to to examine the different methods of affecting social change with the goal of helping participants finetune what works best for them.  In this trip, we will explore important questions in understanding how systems of oppression function: what is the distinction between equality and justice; human rights and liberation? Should we be idealistic or pragmatic in our activist approaches? What is “intersectionality” and how do we take it into account? What’s more effective; working bottom up or top down? We will spend time learning strategies and tools from various organization and individuals committed to social change--from civil rights groups, community farms and grassroots organizers to politicians, lobbyists and artists/media makers. Potential site visits include East Palo Alto, Oakland, Berkeley and Stockton, in addition to San Francisco. 

 

Though the primary lens for this trip comes through the leaders’ intellectual and experiential understanding of black, arab and queer liberation, we aim to create a space that celebrates the organic intellectual/organizer in all of us--learning from knowledge we all hold from our own experiences and building a course around the interests of all participants. Neither an understanding of any or all of these issues is required—just a commitment to learning and actualizing change. 

Trip Leaders
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Kristian Bailey

Peace y’all, I’m Kristian ‘with a K’ beginning my final year at Stanford. My development as a justice-oriented person emerged around three almost simultaneous events: my disbelief at the murder of Trayvon Martin, my Stanford Daily coverage of the arrest and detainment of a young Stanford activist in Palestine, and my participation in an Alternative Spring Break trip with Samar. I at once learned about systemic inequality at home and abroad and about the power of the pen to expose those grievances towards some higher goal of justice. The frame of structural inequality helped me better understand my experiences as a black and queer male--not as an isolated or random incidents of discomfort, but as the effects of larger power relations that govern our world.  The time since then has seemed to fly by. In the span of two years, I have spent a summer learning about inequities facing the Native American community, traveled to Cape Town and seen how the legacies of apartheid continue to live on, spent ten days in Mexico learning about the relationship between authentic journalism and social movements, and lived in Detroit for seven weeks witnessing firsthand the power of visionary grassroots organizing before finishing up the summer with five weeks in Palestine to learn about life under military occupation firsthand. The more I see, the more I know and the more I know the more I understand how intrinsically so many of the justice issues we care about are interwoven in a network of mutuality, in a single garment of destiny--to paraphrase Dr. King. ASB played a pivotal role in what I’ve done with my time as an undergrad and so I’m looking forward to paying that back all that I’ve gained and sharing my final spring break at Stanford with you!

Samar Alqatari

Hi everyone! I’m Samar, a senior in mechanical engineering but a humanist at heart. I hail from the far away lands of Saudi Arabia, where my experiences growing up shaped my outlook on life and my understanding of freedom and oppression--both individual and collective. One of the most important contributions to my perspective came when I learned about the Palestinian “issue” during my early years in high school. Being exposed to critical historians and theorists, public philosophers and other intellectual perspectives on Palestine opened my eyes to a knowledge world of power and politics.So upon my arrival to Stanford, I planned to express my feelings of disbelief and distraught regarding what was happening in a place so close to home - injustice that we were all complicit in - through activism. Soon enough, late night conversations and challenging intellectual questions made me see layers of complexity and shades of gray, and positioned Palestine within larger systems of dominance. In Palestine, I recognized parallels to the oppression of many other groups around the world and their movements for justice (black and queer liberation to name two). I became confronted with the necessity for ‘intersectionality,’ (something we’ll be discussing often) in movements for justice. While maintaining solidarity with other issues on campus, I focused my time and action on one cause (justice for Palestinians), and I think it’s safe to say I’ve tried it all: dialogue, negotiation, government, mass mobilization, top-down; bottom-up, etc. The more I learn and live, the more I contemplate methods of resistance and the means of dismantling structures of oppression. I hope that my background combined with Kristian’s, which come from intellectual pursuits as well as lived experiences, will inform our discussions in class and our trip, and create a driving, stimulating, and open space for all of us to grow and evolve as change-makers. Very excited to meet fellow comrades in justice! Looking forward to reading your applications!

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Approaching Autism:A Walk Down the Spectrum

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Approaching Autism:A Walk Down the Spectrum
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

One in fifty school children in America is diagnosed with autism every year (CDC). Autism, or more generally referred to as autism spectrum disorder, is exactly what it sounds like: a spectrum that encompasses different functioning levels (low to high), genders, age groups, ethnicities, and races. Besides research and treatment therapies, one big point of interest is education and educational supports for children and families with autism. There is a stark difference in the number of supports and systems in place for children with autism and without: Only 56% of students with autism finish high school (Autism Society). Here’s where we come in! We want to explore a side of education that we don’t really get to see on campus. We will think about interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary ways to approach this inequality in education. Drawing on perspectives from sociology, psychiatry, neuroscience, technology, and policy, let’s come in contact with the people who live with it everyday. Let’s be exposed to a wide array of perspectives, experiences, and people to make for a well rounded knowledge of the issue, and perhaps inspiration to be innovative and change the face of education for autistic children.

Trip Leaders
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Betsy Alegria

Hey guys! My name is Betsy Alegria, and I am a sophomore from sunny (more like foggy) San Francisco, potentially majoring in Architectural Design. I am a firm believer in the saying “You are what you eat.” My favorite food? Trail mix. Some of my varied interests include architecture, art, education reform, animal rights, and music. On campus, I am involved with the Bridge and various educational groups like EPASA, Tutoring for Community, and the Phoenix Scholars. As a first generation student, I am particularly interested in exposing other students like me to college through tutoring and mentoring. This past summer, I worked with the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program and participated in the Chicago Architecture Art’s Intensive. Along with Devika, I am very excited to explore a new side of the education system!

Devika Patel

Hi! My name is Devika, and I’m a sophomore from the northern New Jersey! I’m potentially majoring in Product Design Engineering and I love assistive technology. I dabble in the creative arts -- dance, writing, some singing (I’m terrible) and I enjoy working with children and building things. I became interested in learning about autism after my senior project in high school, conducting science experiments with children with autism. Through this experience, I made many friends, but was exposed to the stark differences between my own educational experiences and those of my new friends. Inspired by my experiences, I now try and learn as much as I can about support and help for students with autism and their families, what nonprofits and governmental organizations are doing to help, and what I, as an advocate, can do.

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Asian American Issues: From identity to action

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Asian American Issues: From identity to action
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

Though “Asian American Issues” may sound like an oxymoron, many socioeconomic issues and human rights violations are hidden or ignored under a “model minority” facade. Asian Americans have been present in the United States for four centuries, but much of Asian/Pacific Islander history is underrepresented.Thus, there is a need to bring Asian American issues to light, and inspect them with critical lenses. What does “Asian American” mean in the present context, and what are the stereotypes, expectations, and realities? How do the terms “Asian” and “Asian American” differ? How does someone embrace integrating into a different society while maintaining their native roots and heritage?

Through this ASB, we hope to create a framework by which we can process, confront, and analyze the messages we see about Asian Americans with respect to contemporary issues. We will be traveling to community organizations in the SF Bay Area and Los Angeles to gain firsthand experience and knowledge on issues we discuss in the classroom. First, we will explore the “Asian American” identity, the history of Asians in America, and the Asian American Movement. Then, we will apply these concepts to a broad range of contemporary campaigns such as workers’ and immigrant rights, LGBTQ intersectionality, and educational and socioeconomic disparities. By exploring this spectrum, we will examine our own commonalities with these issues, regardless of our ethnic or cultural background. We will also explore these topics through different media of activism: art, community organizing, health services, and more. By the end of the trip, students will understand the importance and value of integrating social justice and equality into their own lives.

Trip Leaders
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Ray Chen

Ray Chen is currently a sophomore studying Human Biology with intentions of pursuing primary care/pediatrics. Born in Taiwan, he lived in the land of humidity, mosquitoes, and deliciousness for the first seven years of his life. In first grade, he moved to sunny California, specifically San Jose, where he has lived ever since. He was a participant on the 2013 Asian American Issues Alternative Spring Break trip, and was so impacted that he decided he'd want to go on it again as its leader. Besides spending his time planning extensively to make this trip the best it can be, Ray can also be found practicing Bhangra, at Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, or discussing Asian American Issues and ethnic identity. He is excited to help participants on this ASB explore their own ethnic identity, broaden their understanding of the issues Asian Americans face in modern society, and make friendships that will last a lifetime.

Sunli Kim

Sunli Kim is currently a junior studying English Literature with no intentions, as there isn't really a defined career path for English majors, but that's okay. Born in South Korea, Sunli lived in Seoul, a city that forever defines her here. Funnily enough, she doesn't know the city half as intimately as campus because she’s lived in Seoul for a whopping total of six months. She has since lived in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. She had no idea of any Asian American issues that occurred in either of those places until last year, and she's excited to embark on new learning experiences with new companions. Besides spending her time to plan and making this trip the best it can be, Sunli can also be found reading, eating donuts or ramen depending on cravings, or at anything associated with the Stanford Asian American Activism Committee. She's excited for new friendships and to join participants in exploring identities and issues we tend to bookmark and forget about.

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Beyond the Rage: Filipino-American Diaspora, Identity, Activism, and Community Engagement

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Beyond the Rage: Filipino-American Diaspora, Identity, Activism, and Community Engagement
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

Currently, about 4,700 Filipinos leave the Philippines every day in search of finding jobs and wages that they desperately could not find in their homeland. Many of these Filipinos migrate from the Philippines to the United States, where an estimated four million Filipinos live. Of these four million Filipinos, one-fourth are undocumented immigrants. These migrants seeking better lives for their families often find nothing but oppression, injustice, and suffering. With such staggering statistics, why is so little known about the struggles and challenges faced by Filipinos and Filipino-Americans?

 

Join us this winter as we seek to address the underlying issues leading up to the Filipino diaspora by following the stories of immigrants from the Philippines to America. We will shed light upon the roots of the modern day challenges of Filipinos, from issues of identity, family, and basic human rights. This includes unjust immigration policies, workers’ rights, access to affordable housing and education. Through a close examination of Filipino and Filipino-American histories, we hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of the factors that have led to the current conditions of Filipinos. By providing deeper insight on contemporary issues affecting the Filipino community, we hope to empower participants to consider our roles as Stanford students and our individual capacities for creating social change.

 

During spring break, we will bridge lessons and themes from the classroom to the community by integrating with local grassroots organizations from the Bay Area to Central and Southern California. Some of these organizations include community centers, cultural art collectives, workers’ rights organizations, government agencies, and professional associations.

 

While our studies focus on one particular ethnic group, many of the conditions that plague Filipinos transcend ethnic and cultural boundaries. Our goal is to instill a greater understanding within each participant - regardless of their ethnicity - of the social conditions that surround them. While the subject matter may seem enraging, we challenge our participants to take action and go beyond the rage.

Trip Leaders
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Debra Pacio

Hi all! My name is Debra, and I’m a junior majoring in English Literature. I originally hail from Baguio City, Philippines, but immigrated to the United States at the age of 3 and have been a San Jose native ever since. My public service interests primarily focus on poverty and education, but I’ve developed a stronger interest in understanding Filipino and immigration issues since joining the Pilipino American Student Union (PASU) and Anakbayan Silicon Valley. Participating in last year’s Filipino-American issues ASB has led me to have a deeper investment in community engagement and the works of local service organizations. Thanks to ASB, I had the opportunity to serve as a summer mentor for Galing Bata, a program for the youth of the South of Market (SOMA) district of San Francisco. I hope to give back to the community as one of the co-leaders for this year’s ASB.  ...And in my literary mood, I must conclude (in the words of poet, Dylan Thomas), “Rage, rage, against the dying of the light!”Join our ASB fam and apply tonight! :)

Edward Salonga

Hello everyone! My name is Edward Salonga, but everybody calls me Ed. I am a sophomore, and I was born and raised on the beautiful island of Guam. I'll be leading this year’s Filipino-American Issues ASB, and I'm really stoked to build deeper relationships with our participants and the community around us. Over the summer, I worked with various Filipino organizations and community members in the San Francisco area by interning at the Filipino Community Center. Getting to know Filipino communities outside of Stanford, both through ASB and the Filipino Community Center, was one of my favorite experiences, and I hope to expose other students to the great communities outside the Stanford bubble. On campus, I am the Social Co-Chair of the Pilipino-American Student Union (PASU). Outside the bubble, I am a member of the Education committee within Anakbayan Silicon Valley, a comprehensive youth organization that aims to unite youth in the struggle for positive change. Stay enraged!

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Bridging the Civil-Military Divide: Military Service as Public Service in the 21st Century

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Bridging the Civil-Military Divide: Military Service as Public Service in the 21st Century
Trip Location: 
East Coast
Air Travel Trip: 
This trip will travel by air.
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

How does society conceive of a soldier, a sailor, an airman, a marine? How do Americans perceive military service and what role do service members play in our society? Today fewer than 0.5 percent of Americans serve in the military, as compared to roughly 12 percent during the second World War. This has led to a widening gap in knowledge about the military, its members and the functions they perform, as well as its basic structure and tradition of service. This course is intended to introduce students to the notion of military service as public service and explore how misperceptions on both sides affect the civil-military divide. Over Spring Break students will travel to the East Coast to interact with peers their age in the military, from both the enlisted and officer corps, as well as civilians serving in the Department of Defense and college students at U.S. military academies. 

 
Trip Leaders
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AJ Sugarman

I am a senior majoring in political science, having made the long journey to Stanford from my home in Los Angeles, California. As the son of two civilians, I don't come from a military background, but at Stanford I have had the opportunity to engage with military issues in class as well as in campus debates like that around the return of ROTC. I have also gained some first-hand experience through internships with the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C. and the Armed Services Committee in the House of Representatives. On campus I am involved with Stanford in Government and the American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford (AMENDS)Skiing, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and The Wire and Arrested Development are my favorite escapes from work.

Matthew Colford

Matthew Colford is a Senior majoring in Political Science with Honors and minoring in Mathematics and Arabic. In the past he has interned at the United States Embassy in Morocco as well as at the White House, two public service experiences that brought him in to contact with various servicemen and women from whom he learned a great deal. On campus, he is involved with Stanford in Government and AMENDS and is the student coordinator for the Haas Center’s Military Service as Public Service Program. He feels excited and privileged to be leading an Alternative Spring Break on such an important issue.

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Confronting HIV/AIDS in San Francisco

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Confronting HIV/AIDS in San Francisco
Trip Location: 
San Francisco, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

When its symptoms first appeared in 1981, HIV/AIDS was deemed the “gay plague.”  With few treatment possibilities at the time, the striking speed at which people were becoming sick and little interest set by the government to fight the forthcoming epidemic, the city was sent into a crisis mode.  Social activism aimed at achieving affordable treatment and care was in full force.  In the coming years the people of San Francisco achieved a lot, including drug advancements that have made an HIV infection the opposite of a death sentence.  However, these advancements have simmered the urgency to keep combating the disease.  Still today, 1.1 million people are living with HIV infection and almost 1 in 5 are unaware that they have it.  In the Bay Area, alone, possibly the world’s largest hub for HIV/AIDS outreach and awareness, the disease still takes the lives of hundreds of civilians each year and the prevalence continues to rise.  

Our trip’s participants will be presented with a variety of perspectives on HIV/AIDS, which will allow them to form their own opinions about the epidemic. We hope to highlight the many service organizations in San Francisco that are still fighting the ways in which HIV/AIDS affects our day-to-day lives, from the hospitals that treat and study HIV to the local organizations that offer support and counseling for HIV positive individuals, regardless of their identity. Make no mistake – this trip will definitely bring its participants into situations that might seem foreign or uncomfortable. We will show that HIV/AIDS impacts everyone, and that no matter who you are, you can make a difference in not only this cause but also any other cause through focused public service. Our hope, above all, is that you come away from this trip excited and motivated to embark on your own public service experiences.

 

Trip Leaders
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William Carter

Hey everyone! My name is Will Carter and I was born and raised in Athens, Georgia.  I am majoring in Human Biology with an Area of Concentration in Infectious Disease and Global Health.   Participating in this ASB trip last year opened my eyes to the striking realities in which HIV/AIDS has affected an entire city like San Francisco, the importance of public service and the many potential avenues to making a difference in the world.  This trip was so influential that I was inspired to travel to East Africa this past summer to work with non-profits in Tanzania and Uganda that focus on reducing HIV stigma and providing the underserved communities with access to healthcare. It was one of the most amazing life experiences I have ever had. After Stanford, I hope to pursue a career in medicine, but I am keeping my options open to the many fields that public health has to offer.  I am rejuvenated to be back in the Bay Area and so excited to lead this trip in San Francisco in 2014.  In my free time, I enjoy going on adventures, hiking and camping, and attending concerts.  I am excited to be co-leading with my friend, Revanth Kosaraju who went on the trip with me last year. We hope your ASB experience is just as eye opening and meaningful to you as it was for both of us.

Revanth Kosaraju

Hi, all! I’m Revanth Kosaraju, a sophomore with a prospective major in Biomedical Computation (BMC). After going on the HIV/AIDS ASB trip last year, I came away totally inspired and motivated to make a difference, and the first way I wanted to do that was by paying it forward and leading the next group of ASB participants on this year’s trip. I also had the neat experience of going on ASB with my friend Will who I got to know last year and who is now co-leading this trip with me.I am considering a career in medicine, but my interests are broad, ranging from public health and health behavior change to the intersection of technology and medicine. Most of all, I’m excited to say that I’ve barely scratched the surface of the experiences, classes, and wonderful people that Stanford has to offer.I’m an avid college football fan, so in my free time, you can catch me watching the latest game (which pretty much consumes my Saturdays since games run from dawn to dusk) or just following the sports world. Apart from that, I enjoy spending time with my friends, going for a bike ride around campus, or visiting the awesome places that are in the Bay Area, which is my original home (408 whatsup)! I’m excited to meet all of you and hope to make ASB as wonderful for you as it was for me.

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Growing Roses in Concrete: Fighting for Educational Justice

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Growing Roses in Concrete: Fighting for Educational Justice
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

Schools in the United States are more segregated today than they have been in more than four decades. Black and Hispanic students populate high-poverty schools more than any other minority. One in three minority students (32 percent) attend a dropout factory. 68 Percent of all males in state and federal prison did not graduate high school. Only 34 percent of low-income students actually enroll in college. Of that 34 percent, only 11 percent graduate. These symptoms of a broken system have received a lot of popular media attention, and the recent past has seen many proposed solutions to this national crisis.

But these solutions need to address more than just the symptoms. Students and schools are more than just statistics - they are communities that are central to the fight for educational justice. Grassroots community organizing offers an urgently needed alternative to traditional approaches to educational reform. The goal of community organizing for educational justice is to work with - not just on behalf of - low-income and communities of color to increase the power of these residents to speak and act for themselves, while simultaneously addressing the larger societal systems that have helped produce these failing schools.  


The goal of our trip is to explore the power of community organizing as a lens to strengthen the fight for educational justice. What larger societal and economic systems affect our education system? What has history shown us about the power of community organizing? How can art be used to challenge the educational system? What role do teachers, schools, and policy-makers play in fighting for educational justice? What does educational justice community organizing look like in the Bay Area? Explore with us. 

Trip Leaders
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Najla Gomez Rodriguez

My name is Najla Gomez Rodriguez. Originally from Mexico City and more recently from San Jose, CA, I am ambitious, honest, and family-oriented. I am studying Civil Engineering, and am interested in urban planning. As a low-income student who attended a majority-minority high school in East San Jose, and saw many of her friends tracked out of advanced placement classes and into the juvenile justice system, the issue of educational justice hits close to home. I have seen the effects of budget cuts and meritocracy limit the potential of my friends and family, and I see this ASB as an opportunity to share and grow with a group of Stanford students who care to learn more about this injustice. During my time at Stanford I have been highly involved with activities and student groups including MEChA, Admit Weekend, Sigma Theta Psi Multicultural Sorority, and FLIP (Stanford’s First-Generation and/or Low-Income Partnership). I am messy, loud, self-confident, reassuring, and optimistic. I object to binaries, war, and incarceration. I believe in social justice, true love, and freedom.

Jennifer Telschow

My name is Jennifer Telschow and I am a 5th year majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in Science Education in Underserved Communities. I’m from the south side of Charlotte, NC, and believe that above all, my roots are my strength. After my inner-city public high school was closed in 2010, I became even more committed to learning about ways to empower communities like my own to achieve their own justice and fight against systems and people that limit their opportunities. I’ve been on three ASB trips, ranging in topics from Urban Agriculture in DC to the role of charter schools in LA, and I’m beyond excited to share another journey about a topic so close to home. On campus, I am actively involved with Stanford's First-Generation/Low-Income Partnership (FLIP) and am a proud member of Sigma Theta Psi Multicultural Sorority. I believe strongly in the power of storytelling and art; everyone has a story to tell. I love southern accents, bay area graffiti, black and white photography, and any place in California that serves (real) sweet tea.

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Health Accessibility

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Health Accessibility
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

How can I help make healthcare more accessible?  It’s a question many, including ourselves, have often asked.   It’s the fundamental question we hope to explore with you.   We will focus on the U.S. and more specifically on California and the Bay Area.  The first step in our journey will be to understand the current system.  This will include learning the current organization of health care and examining the current outcomes.  With the appropriate background, we will then be equipped to turn our attention towards change.  Avenues of change we will explore will include policy, direct service, and social entrepreneurship.  We will ask those who are currently making healthcare more accessible, from legislators to free clinics, what the barriers to greater health care accessibility are and how they are overcome.  We hope that you will find as we have that the work of some of these individuals and organization is just amazing.  Our experiences and discussions will inform us of how the future of health care accessibility may look and ways each of us can strive to brighten this future.

 
Trip Leaders
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Haroon Zaidi

I’m Haroon Zaidi and to be honest that probably doesn’t tell you much, unless you already know.  In which case you are surely already aware how awesome I am and are falling over yourself signing up for this course, in which case no need to read further.  However if you are one of those poor unfortunate souls who do not have the pleasure of knowing me, let’s see if we can get better acquainted.                                                                                                                                            I enjoy chemistry (shock, gasp, yeah I know) and biology.  I’m considering chemical engineering as a major right now.  This summer I apprenticed to a luthier, worked on my cooking skills (maybe I’ll try cooking for you guys sometime), took online classes,  and started trying to teach myself guitar (emphasis on try). <p>My hobbies include jogging (it’s really exciting when you know you can faint any second), photography, reading, and writing.  This year I plan on joining one of the school publications, continuing to volunteer at Barrio Assistance Tutoring, and of course lead this excellent trip among other things. Hope to See You Soon,Haroon Zaidi

Moosa Zaidi

Hi, I’m Moosa and I’m an undeclared sophomore currently considering chemical engineering along with many other subjects.   I’m still exploring what I enjoy most and how I can make the biggest impact.  I’m from Sacramento.  Actually, I was born in Sacramento, lived the first few years of my life in a suburb, then moved to another suburb, and went to high school in a different suburb, but usually I just say I’m from Sacramento.  However, experiencing different regions of the same metropolis as well as working with homeless populations gave me early exposure to wide differences in income.  Participating in an ASB trip last year was one of my best experiences at Stanford, and I’m really excited to lead a trip this year.  In my free time I enjoy eating spicy food, listening to all varieties of rock music, and practicing guitar.

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Human Power, the Environment, and Alternative Transportation

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Human Power, the Environment, and Alternative Transportation
Trip Location: 
Portland, Oregon
Air Travel Trip: 
This trip will travel by air.
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

Are you interested in exploring alternative transportation from a technological, policy, and hands-on perspective? Rethinking Transport will lead you from studying urban bicycle-sharing programs and commuter air tramways to testing these out in Portland, Oregon!

Portland is known as a well-planned city with efficient transportation. Although the car is still the primary mode of transport, Portland boasts more alternative forms of transportation than most urban centers in the United States and relies on a sophisticated public transportation system to move its people through key central transit hubs. We will look at the basic technology behind each mode of transportation available to us in Portland and talk to the people who manage, maintain, and use these transportation infrastructures. We will visit several key players in the Portland transportation realm, and offer the class a chance to plan additional visits. We will engage in direct service by volunteering our time to repair bicycles and teach bike repair skills to young school-age commuters. Our hope is to explore how the different ways in which we move in turn have the power to move us. We hope you’re “moved” to apply!

Trip Leaders
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Diniana Piekutowski

Hello! I'm Diniana...I'm a big fan of the eccentric and ecclectic. I love Cycling, the idea of electric Cars, Clear night skies, Classical music, Celine Dion, and living by the motto Carpe Diem. Fresh, uncooked, unpaseteurized food is my jam. I'm an undeclared sophomore right now, but I'm considering Mechanical Engineering. And I hope you have a wonderful day.

Guillermo Gomez

Guillermo Gomez is a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Political Science or Public Policy. He is big fan of food, bicycles and a proponent of multidisciplinary approaches to learning and problem-solving. When not asleep or eating, Guillermo likes listening to music, biking, or reading up on the news. He is interested in issues of education, immigration, poverty, energy, and the environment.

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Lakota Learning: A Look into Rural and Native American Education

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Lakota Learning: A Look into Rural and Native American Education
Trip Location: 
Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
Air Travel Trip: 
This trip will travel by air.
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

"The battle for Indian children will take place in the classrooms...
The students of today are the warriors of tomorrow." 

-Eddie Box, American Indian Science and Engineering Society

 

The Pine Ridge Indian reservation faces staggering challenges: fewer than 20% of students graduate high school, unemployment is over 80%, and life expectancy is the lowest in the US. In the face of these challenges, schools and community leaders are striving to empower the next generation of Lakota children with the knowledge, language, and confidence to change these statistics and build a strong tomorrow for the Lakota Nation. Apply for this ASB experience and work and learn alongside teachers, students, and community leaders who are committed to this future. 

 

The course will begin with classroom instruction, guest lectures, and discussions that will expose students to the challenges and promise of Native American and rural education. Students will learn about Lakota culture, the history of Native American education, and current challenges and successes in Indian education. Throughout the course and trip, we will look at the intersection between education and other important issues, including healthcare, economics, and spirituality. 

During the week-long trip to South Dakota, we will have opportunities to work with a variety of community partners, including both schools and informal education organizations seeking to promote traditional knowledge and language. We will engage with students, teachers, and community leaders about the present and future of education in the community. 

Trip Leaders
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Shannon Brady

Hello! My name is Shannon Brady, and I am a third year doctoral student in the Graduate School of Education. Originally from a tiny town in Montana just south of the Canadian border, I majored in psychology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. After college, I followed my passions for social justice, educational equity, and small town livin’ to the Pine Ridge Indian reservation where I taught middle school language arts and 3rd grade at Little Wound School -- one of the schools we will be visiting. After teaching for five years, I made the hard decision to leave the classroom and come to Stanford. I now study how to use understandings gleaned from social psychology to promote better outcomes for students and people in general--especially those who face additional challenges or stereotypes. When I’m not busy with school, you are likely to find me out in nature, playing board games, or cooking up a delicious meal with friends. I am honored and humbled to co-lead this trip, and I encourage you to join us.

Tiarra Little

Hello, my name is Tiarra Little and I’m a sophomore here in this lovely state of California.  I was born and raised in a small town on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  I am Oglala Lakota (Sioux) and am a graduate from the Red Cloud High School’s Class of 2012 – one of the schools we will be visiting on the reservation.  Over the past few summers, I have worked as a Wildland Firefighter and Prevention Specialist in South Dakota.  I am also curently working on and off with a nonprofit called Building Bridges in Denver, CO.  Building Bridges is a program dedicated to bridging the gap between cultures by equipping participants with the necessary communication tools needed to understand and respect a variety of perspectives and opinions.  My work in the program has helped me in furthering my understanding of different perspectives, a skill that has come in handy for me while living both on and off the reservation.

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Liberty and Justice for All? Exploring the School-to-Prison Pipeline in California

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Liberty and Justice for All? Exploring the School-to-Prison Pipeline in California
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

Is America really the home of the free? With 1.8 million individuals currently in custody, the United States is the world’s leader in incarceration. California state prisons currently hold more prisoners in custody than do the prisons of France, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the Netherlands combined.

Education systems in California and across the country have been called “pathways to incarceration.” How can this harmful cycle be broken? Can education be used to keep youth and adults out of prison systems? 

In our ASB class and trip, we will dig deep into issues of the California state prison systems, the “school to prison pipeline,” the private prison industry, corrections education, and offender rehabilitation and opportunity programs. We will explore how alternative education programs in the Bay Area are working to keep youth out of prisons and how education can mitigate the negative impact of the prison system on individuals and their communities. We plan to also visit prisons in the area, including San Quentin State Prison, the oldest prison in California.

Trip Leaders
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Angad Gogia

I grew up playing roller hockey on the streets of Irvine, California, but my illustrious career came to an unfortunate end when I broke my left arm. I’m currently a junior majoring in Computer Science, and I enjoy sushi and Philly cheese steaks. However, I would have to say my favorite food is bubble tea (I love the little tapioca balls). Maddy and I were inspired to explore the role of education in incarceration while on an ASB trip last year about inequalities in the criminal justice system. At Stanford, I am a member of United Students for Veterans' Health, the Stanford Healthcare Consulting Group, and the Theta Delta Chi Fraternity. I am extremely excited for this year's ASB and can't wait to meet the members of our trip! 

Madeline Sides

I am a junior from Davis, California studying Bioengineering. I am interested in how science and technology can be used to address environmental and social issues. I can be found managing a vegetarian kitchen, taking photos for The Daily, and finding new ways to explore Northern California. Angad and I became friends in our Criminal Justice ASB last year, often over some chai teas. ASB was one of our most meaningful Stanford experiences and we hope to inspire a new group of ASB students to confront institutional injustices in American society.

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Out of the Shadows: Illuminating Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Mental Health in the Bay Area and Beyond

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Out of the Shadows: Illuminating Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Mental Health in the Bay Area and Beyond
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

Did you know that mental health issues affect one in every five American families?

 

Mental health is often a difficult subject to speak openly about.  This may be for several reasons, including the unwillingness and fear of individuals to see themselves or others close to them as "diseased", the lack of a culturally sensitive, mainstream vocabulary for the discussion of mental health issues, and the stigma of seeking aid or treatment for psychiatric disorders.  Unfortunately, by not speaking openly and competently about these issues, we as a society risk leaving many individuals untreated, endangering their lives and damaging their communities and families, and holding back on potential advancements in care.

 

The aim of this class and its accompanying service trip is to begin to facilitate more open and informed conversations about mental health issues and their impacts in the larger community, whether that community is your dorm, Stanford campus, the Bay Area, the United States, or the world.  We hope to shed light on campus mental health resource availability, the different types of mental health disorders, their root causes, and current care and treatment methods, and perhaps most importantly, how we as students can serve as allies to those who seek to make mental health a priority in our personal lives, government policy, education, and medical research.

 

TRIGGER WARNING: We appreciate your willingness to share your personal experiences with us and/or the class if you wish.  However, we fully understand that not everyone is comfortable doing so, and we would further like to note that some of the content we will be discussing in class may be triggering for some individuals.  Please let us know if this is the case for you, and we would be happy to accommodate your needs.

Trip Leaders
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Jimmy He

Hey ASBers! I’m Jimmy, a junior majoring in Neurobiology with a minor in Religious Studies. As a former Branner Public Service Scholar, I have sampled a wide-range of service-learning trips including participating in ASB, Impact Abroad to Nicaragua, and leading a TGB trip on Alzheimer’s disease. Part of why I have become interested in mental health is that it is not only a growing issue for college campuses but also directly affects a lot of the veterans that I have interacted with at the Menlo Park VA Hospital through United Students for Veterans’ Health (USVH). When I’m not busy preparing for classes and/or other activities, I like to swim long laps at the new pool, visit my cousins in San Francisco, expose myself to new music, and watch some past episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Weakest Link, and Wheel of Fortune.

Virginia Wang

Hi!  My name is Virginia, and I'm a current junior majoring in Biology here at Stanford.  As my primary academic interest is in neurobiology, I've been fascinated by the interactions between brain and behavior for a long time.  Having also been involved heavily in public service before and at Stanford in several different capacities (shout outs to Branner's Public Service Scholars program, Stanford Red Cross, & Arbor Free Clinic!), I began to think more critically about America's healthcare systems, especially with regards to individuals with psychiatric disorders, diagnosed or undiagnosed.  Through some personal experiences and after seeing some of the posts on the Stanford Confessions Facebook page, I realized that mental health at large is an issue that needs to be talked about for the benefit of the entire community, no matter how uncomfortable those conversations might be.  While I'm not thinking about brains, you can probably find me lurking around the music building, eating, or sleeping.  (Well, I hope you don't actually find me sleeping...)  I can't wait to meet all of you!  :)

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - Rural and American Indian Health Disparities

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Rural and American Indian Health Disparities
Trip Location: 
Lakota Nation, SD
Air Travel Trip: 
This trip will travel by air.
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

Native Americans have universal health care, yet they are among the worst performing demographic in almost every metric of health. The Rosebud Reservation is in the second poorest county and has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the nation. But these statistics can not capture the resilient people behind them. This service-learning trip seeks to connect students  to this community in order to understand the upstream factors that lead to health disparities faced by rural and Native American communities.

During winter quarter, students will read articles, attend lectures, and hear talks presented by expert speakers about Native American health and culture. Throughout the course and trip, we will be working with our companion ASB, Rural and American Indian Education, to better understand the interconnected roles of education and health care on these rural communities.

During the week-long trip to South Dakota, we will have opportunities to work with the IHS as well as community partners focusing on housing, education, and mental health. Students will have the opportunity to work with clinicians, public health nurses, and community leaders to address the social determinants of health through direct service projects. 

Trip Leaders
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Preet Kaur

Preet Kaur is a sophomore considering Human Biology, including concentrations ranging from social determinants of health, community health, and sports medicine (after tearing her ACL twice) to neuroscience. She was born in Nottingham, England, but raised in Turlock, California. At Stanford, Preet is involved in the Sikh Student Organization, SPOON, SCOPE, and the Health Advocacy Program. She has participated in programs such as Sophomore College: Stanford Safari, an overseas seminar focusing on migrant/community health in Oaxaca, and this ASB, last year. Last year’s ASB trip introduced her to native culture and health disparities and ultimately inspired her to want to revisit the reservation as a practicing physician. She hopes to give students a similar opportunity by engaging in experiential learning that will allow them to see the richness in native culture, change their view on healthcare, and/or encourage their career pursuits in another direction.  

Layton Lamsam

Layton Lamsam is a senior majoring in biology. He is Osage (Grayhorse village) from Pawhuska, Oklahoma on the Osage Indian Reservation. At Stanford, Layton is involved in the Native American student community through Stanford Powwow and Natives in Medicine. Layton has been a part of this ASB to Rosebud twice as a student, and he is excited to teach the ASB this winter (while eagerly awaiting the replies of medical school admissions). His broad goal in teaching this class is to help students answer two questions from both the mainstream and Native American perspectives. (1) What is the state of health in Indian Country today, and (2) how did the state of health get where it is now?

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - The Hands That Feed Us: Migrant Health in Underserved Agricultural Communities of the Central Valley

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
The Hands That Feed Us: Migrant Health in Underserved Agricultural Communities of the Central Valley
Trip Location: 
Central Valley, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

"The hands that feed us are often invisible hands, hands of people who work in the shadows of a multibillion-dollar industry without enjoying its rewards."

 

            "The Human Cost of Food"

Walk into any market and you’re likely to see a colorful spectrum of produce lining the walls, marked with low prices by the pound. Yet behind the scenes, such delicious creations most likely stem from backbreaking work, that which has taken major tolls on the very contributors to California’s agricultural success: migrant workers. Coupled with debilitating working and living conditions, the deprivation of workers’ rights due to immigration status, prevalence of low wages, and lack of access to essential commodities and health care not only contribute significantly to poor health outcomes within this population but also, reflect a growing need to understand and engage such issues from various levels. Through our winter course, we will learn about a whole host of social and cultural factors driving health disparities within these communities through informative readings as well as through academic discussions with professors and each other. During our spring break trip, we will interact directly with not only the migrant farm workers, themselves, but also, with the various stakeholders involved in their well-being, including but not limited to: farm owners, health care providers, community activists, lobbyists, non-profit organizations, and policy-makers. Collectively, such experiences will help us develop an informed, multidisciplinary perspective on health within these underserved communities, enabling us to evaluate current efforts to alleviate existing issues and to contribute to the promotion of health for these hardworking migrant workers, whether immediate or in the near future.

Trip Leaders
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Brian Nguyen

Brian is currently a junior majoring in Biology, who comes from Southern California (SoCal woot woot). More specifically, he has grown up in the funny-sounding town of Rancho Cucamonga that probably no one has heard of. Having observed health disparities at the domestic and international levels, he has developed a keen interest in health care with a particular focus in marginalized communities. Moreover, while at Stanford, he tries to understand the various upstream factors that drive these stark differences in health outcomes by complementing his education with public service through Pacific Free Clinic, the Opportunity Center, Habla, Students Taking on Poverty, and Health Education for Lifetime Partnership (HELP). Last year, he had the awesome opportunity of participating in the immigration ASB trip, which has inspired him to co-lead one this year with Wendy that focuses on migrant health. In his free time, he enjoys being physically active, whether it’s through racing his co-leader at running, or swimming a few laps at Avery. He cannot wait to spend time with all of you through learning, serving, and bonding from this amazing ASB experience!

Wendy Sov

Hailing from the awesomeness that is SoCal like her fellow co-leader Brian, Wendy is a junior majoring in Public Policy. She grew up in Chino Hills, where cows once roamed the land but have now been replaced with shopping outlets and cookie-cutter houses. With a passion for helping others, she plans to devote her life to public service, whether that means working for a nonprofit or working in local/state government. On campus, she has been involved with Tutoring For Community and Circle K. She went on the ASB Migrant Health trip her freshman year, loved it so much that she joined the Children’s Health trip her sophomore year, and is now super stoked to be co-leading the trip that started it all. During her free time, Wendy likes to run, make fun of Brian’s running, browse at farmers’ markets, eat sushi, snowboard, read, watch movies, and paint. She cannot wait to meet all of you on the best ASB trip ever!

Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - The Silicon Classroom: Educational Equity in a Changing Digital World

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
The Silicon Classroom: Educational Equity in a Changing Digital World
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
12
Trip Description: 

Education technology entrepreneurs promise radical improvements in the way we teach and learn, and their products (e.g. Khan Academy videos, GlassLab games, Scratch programming language) are surfacing in schools around the nation. At the same time, voices of concern abound. Could education technology (even when “free”) accentuate the divide between the rich and poor? What should determine whether a new technology is introduced into the classroom and what provisions are necessary?

Our trip delves deep into key issues in education technology from an equity lens. We will discuss the potential of emergent trends such as MOOCs (massive online open courses), gaming to learn, and personalized learning, in addition to examine the history of educational technology and digital divides. During the week, we will engage with top entrepreneurs, critics, and thought leaders and work directly with students and teachers. 

Join us as we explore the meaning of educational equity in this rapidly shifting digital world, in the epicenter of the movement and the heart of Silicon Valley! More information: http://siliconclassroom.tk/

 

Trip Leaders
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Xinyue (Alice) Fang

My name is Alice, and I am so excited to explore the intersection of technology, education, and equity with you! As a Symbolic Systems major concentrating in Human-Computer Interaction, I’ve always been interested in designing technology for learners. One program I’m particularly excited about is JOURNYS (Journal of Youths in Science;www.journys.org), a science magazine I started in high school focused on interest-based learning. In my free time, I enjoy yodeling on my violin and smiling at my rubber ducks.

Jessie Duan

Hi! I’m Jessie, a junior majoring in MCS (Mathematical and Computational Science) and coterming in computer science. I’ve always been interested in education, particularly CS education. My goal is to empower every student to pursue their interests, breaking down internal and external barriers. I’ve section-led for CS106A/B/X, and one Stanford program I’m passionate about is Girls Teaching Girls To Code, which introduces high school girls to CS and inspires them to continue programming. On this trip, I’m excited to explore the currents of digital change (hehe, get it?)!

ThanksGiving Back 2013-2014 - Making science fun: trivial amusement or effective STEM pedagogy?

Basic Information
Application Process: 
ThanksGiving Back 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Making science fun: Trivial amusement or Effective STEM pedagogy?
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
10
Trip Description: 

The United States has been slipping behind other developed nations in educating young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Change is slow in public education, which makes alternative learning centers (from museums, parks, and zoos, to school yards, farms, and summer camps) important bridges to improving STEM education. Informal science programs encourage lifelong learning for people of all ages by establishing emotional connections between people and places through hands-on experiences. In addition, these programs open people’s eyes to the fact that science is everywhere, they help them develop an appreciation for science and an understanding of what science entails, and quite frankly, they teach everyone that science can be fun! "Making science fun: educational programs in the Bay Area" aims to explore, examine, and assess a variety of informal science programs in the Bay Area. Students in the group meet some of the leaders in the field, observe fun science in action, and get involved in teaching.

Trip Leaders
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Camille Jones

As a PhD student at Stanford, I am always seeking to connect the technical and sometimes esoteric work I do in the laboratory to the people whom that research will impact. My own service experiences in education and healthcare help me translate the science I am learning to a K-12 level, show students a real-life scientist, and give back to my community. I have a lot of enthusiasm for teaching others about how science connects to our environment and affects everyone on the planet. As a beneficiary of lots of informal science education, from nature walks at the beach as a kindergartener to college geology field trips on the mountains of Hawaii, I am excited to do more as part of our Thanksgiving Back trip and facilitate a fun, rewarding, and eye-opening experience for Stanford students. In my free time I attempt to grow vegetables in my small garden then cook them into delicious creations. I also love hiking and spending time with friends and family.

Mandy McLean

Hello! My name is Mandy, I am a graduate student currently finishing up my master’s degree in Environmental Earth System Science. I love science and I am a big proponent of interactive science education programs because I feel that curiosity, imagination, and scientific inquiry are some of the most valuable tools a person can have, and they cannot be fully developed from books alone. I am also passionate about the environment, I love exploring it, learning about it, and passing on my knowledge to others. In my opinion, the best way to encourage environmental conservation and sustainable behavior is to instill in people a deep respect and love for the environment. For these reasons, I very much value science outreach.In my free time I enjoy hiking, camping, rock climbing, running, biking, swimming, traveling, and reading in my hammock.

ThanksGiving Back 2013-2014 - ChangeLeaders: Exploring Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley

Basic Information
Application Process: 
ThanksGiving Back 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
ChangeLeaders: Exploring Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
10
Trip Description: 

“I believe that Silicon Valley is truly a place of excellence and the impact of this tiny community on the world is completely disproportionate to its size. We are the undisputed leaders of technological change. But with our abundance of talent and resources, we also have the opportunity to be the pioneers of social change and, ultimately, this may be our greatest contribution.”

    - Jeffrey Skoll, Founder of the Skoll Foundation and former President of eBay

Silicon Valley has become synonymous with technological entrepreneurship, housing companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, and the numerous start-ups striving to emulate the successes of these corporations. However, commonly overlooked are the public service- and philanthropy-oriented ventures born from the innovation of this same region.

Our trip hopes to highlight the various facets of social innovation in the Bay Area—both entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial. We will be visiting and volunteering at local social enterprises to learn about the intersection of social change and Silicon Valley innovation from the perspectives of foundations, corporations, non-profits, and start-ups.

Trip Leaders
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Josephine Chen

Hi! I’m Josephine, a junior interested in applications of innovations in technology and health to solve global issues. I've had an amazing time learning about social innovation over the past few years through working with nonprofits and organizing conferences and competitions. In the process, I discovered that many of my previous, narrow conceptions about social-e were wrong, and I'm really excited to be co-leading this ThanksGiving Back trip to explore the wide variety of organizations involved in this sphere in Silicon Valley! 

Sean Wang

Sean Wang is a junior from South Pasadena, California, majoring in biology. He has been involved in several social entrepreneurship projects including the Commonwealth Challenge, Social-E Capital, and the Compass Fellowship. In his free time, Sean enjoys playing tennis and learning new instruments.

Thanksgiving Back 2013-2014 - Decoding the Duck Syndrome: Creative Approaches to Adolescent Mental Health

Basic Information
Application Process: 
ThanksGiving Back 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Decoding the Duck Syndrome: Creative Approaches to Adolescent Mental Health
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
10
Trip Description: 

“Some seek the comfort of their therapist's office, other head to the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I chose running as my therapy.” - Dean Karnazes

The Duck Syndrome--floating serenely on the water while frantically paddling beneath the surface--often comes up when discussing the stress of being a student at Stanford. However, mental health issues are present in the lives of adolescents everywhere, whether in elite universities or underprivileged communities. We want to break open the conversation surrounding the Duck Syndrome by exploring creative arts therapy and other non-traditional approaches. During the workshops, we will examine the institutional influences on how society frames the adolescent struggle with mental health. On the trip, we will visit local community partners who specialize in anything from music to individualized alternative education. This trip is an opportunity for students to discuss a heavily stigmatized subject and support their peers through initiatives beyond the traditional framework of adolescent mental health. We hope to give participants a basic understanding of sociological influences on adolescent mental health, strategies on navigating the difficult conversations surrounding this topic, and exposure to creative therapies. No prior knowledge or experience necessary (other than 4 years of Mandarin or advanced training in designing LEED Platinum buildings).

Trip Leaders
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Audrey Ho

Audrey is a junior majoring in Computer Science. She received her first ‘rubbie duckie’ at four years old for a ballet recital. In many ways, that duck has never left, as she imagines is the case with many Stanford students. In her experience, mental health therapy is all too often focused on medication; however, in reality, health can be nurtured through a variety of channels from sports to food to the arts. Audrey's own little joys in life include dance, board games, and serenading her shower curtain.

Patrick McGuire

Patrick is a senior majoring in French and minoring in Russian. He is a Live-in Counselor and Course Coordinator for The Bridge Peer Counseling Center and coordinates mental health panels with Stanford Peace of Mind. This past summer, he went to China to help set up a peer counseling program at a university in Beijing. He grew up around the world and enjoys traveling, cooking, and translating poetry.

ThanksGiving Back 2013-2014 - Growing Change: Urban Food Solutions in the Bay Area

Basic Information
Application Process: 
ThanksGiving Back 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
Growing Change: Urban Food Solutions in the Bay Area
Trip Location: 
Bay Area, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
10
Trip Description: 

While some families debate whether to buy organic strawberries from Whole Foods or local strawberries from the farmers market, there are others nearby who have never tasted a fresh strawberry. San Pablo Avenue is a street that runs through West Berkeley down to West Oakland.  While West Berkeley includes Berkeley Bowl, an extensive local grocery store with myriad organic and vegan options, West Oakland is often cited as a textbook example of a food desert. Food deserts are defined by the USDA as “urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.” How is it possible that access to healthy, nutritious food can be so readily available at one end of a street and nearly impossible to find a short twenty-minute ride away? Why is this community defined as a food desert if there is a full-access grocery store within a half-hour drive? And what can we do to address economic and cultural barriers to nutritious food?c
Our TGB trip examines the intersection between agriculture and urban social justice, using West Oakland and other locations in the Bay Area as examples. We will spend our trip exploring different avenues towards equality in food access across the Bay Area. Some of these potential solutions include community farms, school garden programs, food banks, and other urban food programs. We hope trip participants will be inspired, coming away with a better understanding of the food access challenges that many of our neighbors face, and with a drive to continue pushing for positive change in our own communities.

Trip Leaders
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Carly Wais

Carly Wais is a senior majoring in Earth Systems who is particularly stoked about wind energy. In her non-school time,  she can be found making breakfast, climbing rocks, djing for KZSU, and collaging with her roomie. Like Sherri, she is interested in the ways that food issues bring together moral, environmental, and socioeconomic issues. She is passionate about nature, her Chi Theta Chi community, and anything from Baltimore. Carly was a SPOT Farming Trip leader in previous years, and her new interest in Urban Studies makes this urban agriculture trip a perfect fit. Carly is excited to meet you all!

Sherri Billimoria

Sherri Billimoria is a senior majoring in Atmosphere/Energy Engineering, with an education minor. She is especially interested in the baby those two subjects would have together (and she is also very interested in human babies). Sherri loves cooking and eating food, especially creating community through food. She wants all people to have access to an excellent education that includes a strong understanding of the environment and nutrition. She was very inspired by her experience at Urban Adamah, a Jewish urban farming fellowship that focuses on social justice. Having been a part of last year’s Environmental Justice TGB, she is excited to be leading a new trip this year!

ThanksGiving Back 2013-2014 - The Human Cost of Food: Migrant Farm Worker Health in the Central Valley

Basic Information
Application Process: 
ThanksGiving Back 2013-2014
Trip Name: 
The Human Cost of Food: Migrant Farm Worker Health in the Central Valley
Trip Location: 
Salinas, CA
Air Travel Trip: 
No
Number of Participants: 
10
Trip Description: 

"The hands that feed us are often invisible hands, hands of people who work in the shadows of a multibillion-dollar industry without enjoying its rewards."

  "The Human Cost of Food"

The Central Valley of California is the world’s agricultural leader, producing more than half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables.  The care and harvest of these crops rely heavily upon the labor of migrant farm workers, many of whom are marginalized economically and socially. The goal  of “The Human Cost of Food: Migrant Farm Worker Health in the Central Valley” is to explore some of the most pressing issues affecting migrant health in the Central Valley. Students will have the opportunity to engage with medical professionals, NGOs, and advocacy groups who support migrant farm workers in order to understand the many factors influencing migrant health. We will approach this complex topic through multiple lenses and gain insights directly from key players including farm workers and upstream policy makers. 

Our trip will be based in Salinas, California, but the issues we will confront there extend across the Central Valley and much of the United States. Through our preparation on campus as well as our immersive TGB experience, we will examine and evaluate current efforts that address migrant health and consider their limitations and future opportunities. Our hope is that by learning about migrant health as a basic human right, we can promote positive change, however big or small, through our experiences. k

Trip Leaders
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Kellie Schueler

I’m a senior at Stanford in the Human Biology department with an area of concentration is in Public Health & Disease. I’m especially interested in infectious disease, global health, and the health of underserved communities. At Stanford I am a human biology tutor for the CTL, a member of FaceAids, and a member of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for women. In my free time I love to run, road bike, do crafts, cook, and snuggle my cat. I’m SO excited to lead a Thanksgiving Back Trip this year, and I can’t wait to meet the awesome students who will be on our trip!

Sarah Jacobson

Hi! I'm Sarah, and I'm a senior majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in Global Health and Health Policy. I'm also beginning a co-term in MS&E, but I promise I'm not a sketchy grad student. On campus I'm a freshman RA in Cedro and I'm also on the equestrian team. I love being outside, reading good books, and drinking Philz coffee. Kellie and I could not be more excited to lead this TGB trip! It's going to be awesome!!