ABT Louisville Fall Break 2017 – Harrison Welch

  1. How did you use any skills or knowledge from your time at APSU (from classes, student organizations, etc…) while volunteering on your alternative break trip?

I used some of my skills from past work like fast-food to establish inputs and outputs during the sorting of the clothes so that I could maximize the efficiency of grabbing clothes deciding on its appropriate category 1. Infant, Toddler, and Adult and then 2. By Winter or Summer. I had my own space over in the corner where I asked a decently clear desk where I could pull, categorize, then fold and stack then pack those stacks into boxes (like everyone else). I also had the 2 side-tasks that I was running while folding clothes: answering the door to say hello, receive donations and pull/stack them inside, then hand them a form to record their own donations. I also labeled boxes for what combination of the category they were i.e. Adult Winter, Toddler Summer, etc. Doing these repetitive tasks that involve moving between lanes of workflow is much like working fast-food where during the rush you need to run your station 100% while also cleaning and replenishing stock like sauce or napkins. Although I wasn’t perfect my excellent teammates Cassie, Jill, Amelia, Angie, Adrian worked alongside and helped if I was pulled aside doing something else, many thanks to them!

My experience as a software developer encourages me to be as efficient with time as possible ergo KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). This simple (some may call lazy) way of doing things came into play in one instance when we needed to move a stack of boxes into another stack (making a bigger one), but I saw another stack of chairs that could be moved into another position in the store. So instead of spending 30 minutes on unstacking and stacking, I moved one stack of chairs to its better position and then moving the stack of boxes into the chair’s old position.

  1. Looking back on your experience, in what ways have you personally developed & learned from this experience that will help you in the future?

I look back on the experience with some feelings of happiness and bewilderment. I feel happy that I went and helped the Thrift’n’Thrive store up in Louisville, but at the same time I was bewildered and shock by all the work that this trip took to plan out, execute, and then to pack up, break down and go home. Seeing things like the car vehicle, food, and schedule planning shocked me into immense gratitude because I have an idea how hard that could be. Then seeing the execution of my group members take things in stride amazed me, especially when the car broke down. Then at the final stages, everyone still held their marbles inside their brains for the trip back to the University. That what I learned and developed on this trip; a sense of gratitude about what others can do if they really put their minds to it.



1. How did you use any skills or knowledge from your time at APSU (from classes, student organizations, etc…) while volunteering on your alternative break trip?

I did not necessarily use skills learned from APSU during my alternative break trip. Since we were sorting, tagging, and organizing clothes, I was able to use my newly learned retail skills. I was able to give the owner a new way to tag the clothes. Normally they would tag the clothes on the side, leaving the tags hanging out and looking unorganized. I was able to show them how to tag the clothes from the back and tuck the tag to give an organized uniformed looked. After tagging the clothes, we were able to put them out on the floor. I also used my organizing skills. We had to take the clothes out of the boxes, and sort them in bins based on size and gender. I also came out of my comfort zone completely when we had to hand out drinks to the runners. I am not a loud speaker, so yelling out what drink I was holding was not my thing. But I did it anyway and had a blast encouraging the runners.

2. Looking back on your experience, in what ways have you personally developed & learned from this experience that will help you in the future?

 Looking back on my trip, I learned that team work, makes the dream work. The people I worked with were awesome. By working together, we were able to clear out an entire corner and a room. Tagging clothes of have taken forever if one of the other volunteers had not helped. We would not have gotten as much done if it were not for each of us lending a helping hand. We used our own knowledge as well as each others to sort, tag and organize the donated items. We were able to do everything with decency and order because we worked together. Though we all came from different backgrounds, ages, and majors, together we got the job done.

 Adrian Walter


Adventures Awaitin’

Howdy folks! My name is Ashanti A. Wilson aka Auntie Ashanti, and I am a wide-eyed fluffy grad student ready to experience her very first Alternative Break Trip! Wooooowhoo! It’s sure to be the ride of my life! Before we jump on the bandwagon and head outta town, there’s just a few things ya’ll need to know ‘bout this crazy auntie. I’m in the process of earning my second master’s degree in Communication Arts (yes sir, I said second as in numero dos!) with a concentration in Marketing Communication and an emphasis in Human Resources. That sure is a long fancy title, isn’t it? But don’t you worry your pretty little heads, I don’t bite. Folks like me just love helping others discover those hidden talents that push them further along in their chosen careers. When you wake up in the morn and ask yourself “How can I help someone else?” that’s the kind of things that get my beans a cookin’.

Human resource departments are needed in just about every company there is. We work behind the scenes to take care of the people and ensure that the company’s vison is being realized. The job is often behind those dark curtains in that one room that gives you the creeps. Naw! I’m just kidding folks. We ain’t that bad ya know.

The reason I want to be a part of this here trip experience is because there’s just too much plain dumb ole greed out there in the world. There ain’t enough people carin’ about their neighbors anymore. Folks starvin’ out there and some are right in our backyards and there just ain’t no reason for it. One of my undergrad professors once said, “If you see a need, fill it!” Boy did that not stick with me like mud does after a day of noodling catfish. I came from a humble background and boy is it a tear-jerker. Any of ya’ll got a tissue?

Not to get all emotional or whatnot but we just need to help each other out. I’m sick of seeing people living under bridges, going through my garbage cans for food or commercials that just break my poor heart watchin’. My reasons, my career, it’s just all the same. I wanna help people and this bandwagon headed to Louisville, Kentucky is just one way I intend to do that. We gonna storm into that Rescue Mission and set up camp for a few days. The goal is simple. We sneak behind the enemies lines in our dress gear, throw down the suga, the spice and a whole lot of nice. Then before we get discovered, we gonna hightail it outta there before we get caught. Stay tune for updates along the way.


Fall Alternative Break 2017-Louisville, Kentucky

My name is Cassondra (Cassie) Meadows, and I am the Trip Leader for this Alternative Break. My major is Social Work. I chose this major because I love to help people. The choice was obvious to me once I discovered that Social Work is literally called the Helping Profession.

My major can be used to help others in many different ways. A social work major can work with a number of different facilities in order to provide care and help to people. Whether that involves their physical or emotional needs, social workers help people.

I have a limited knowledge about hunger and homelessness. The only things that I know for certain about these issues are the fact that they shouldn’t be a problem, but they are. Our society should not have hungry people with all the food we throw out. If people cared a little more, I believe that many of these issues would not exist. As far as skills, I care about people making me passionate for issues that affect us. As a future social worker, I will be advocating for people. I can advocate for their basic human rights. My passionate caring would make these efforts more successful enabling me to help improve the lives of others.

I am very excited to travel to Louisville, Kentucky with my group to serve with the Rescue Mission.


Pre-Tip Blog

Hello everyone,

My name is Angie. I am majoring in Leadership management. After over twenty years of service, I feel that I excel in the leadership position. With my experience, I believe that I can assist young adults in becoming professional adults and teach them how to handle themselves in a work environment. I have experienced many things throughout my life and especially my military career, that I will share to improve the lives of others. My leadership and professional experiences of how to perform duties and work hard for everything that you want in life. To advance and grow professionally and personally in life, you must get out of your comfort zone and that is something the my time in the military has open my eyes up to.


Pre-Trip Alternative Break Post

My name is Amelia Dicus. I’m a freshman Psychology major with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies at Austin Peay State University. I’m a psychology major because my goal is to dedicate my life to the well-being of other people. I aspire to help people in my community and outside of my community by getting to know them on a personal level, by listening and learning each individual’s story and background. I believe that so much can be accomplished just by lending a listening ear, as well as a helping hand to anybody who needs it.

This is my first Alternative Break Trip. I look forward to being part of the change in people’s lives. I know that a even a little bit of help can go a long way, but during this trip I intend to give my all. I have the ability to give my time, body, and mind to this cause, and I realized the importance of doing so. This is my first big step into the world of volunteering, and I hope to grow from this experience.


Pre-Trip Post

Hi! My name is Adrian Walter. I am 25 years old. I love being a mother, dancing, spending time with family, and Winnie the Pooh. I am currently a senior here at Austin Peay. I am majoring in Social Work, and I am so excited. I was a education major at one point and found out it wasn’t for me. I want to be a change agent and help improve the lives of others. My major can be used to help others in a variety of ways. There are many branches to Social Work, with each branch helping in its own way. I specifically want to help those in need. For example, the homeless, the low income, and children. I want to provide their basic needs for survival like food, clothes, and shelter. I want to one day open up my own non-profit organization/community center, that will provide under privileged children and their families help and provide opportunities for a better life . I already have experience in feed the hungry, clothing the naked, and encouraging the hopeless. I use to feed the hungry at a Methodist church down town. I also volunteer three days a week to the Manna Cafe warehouse handing our boxes of food. So the past and present experiences will help me on this trip and help me change the world one person at a time. I am so excited and can’t wait to make a change.