Harrison Welch: Pretrip Blog Post

  1. Tell us your academic major and why you are interested in that area.

My academic major is Computer Science. I am interested in this area because of the wide possibilities of the field as is currently with Mobile, Web, and Databasing, but also with the future potential elements with Web Sockets and Artificial Intelligence. I have a knack for Mathematics and a bit of a perfectionist and both fall right in line with a Computer Scientist.

  1. How do you think that your academic major can be used to help others in your community?

My academic major will be useful in my community where the logical problem solving and perfectionist aspects prepare me for a variety of situations such as keeping track of data with spreadsheets, organizing a small group of people with specific skills into their best fit based on those skills, or persevering until the project is finished.

  1. What skills or knowledge do you currently have that can help improve life for others?

Well, in my life I’ve had three jobs: Fast Food, Grocery Store, and Software Developer. All of these offer many of skills. To list a few, I understand Customer Services and working as part of a team from Fast Food. From the grocery store, I understand continuous improvement and a deeper understanding of job compartmentalization. And from software development I learned things about skilled labor horizontal teamwork while at the same time an understanding vertical teamwork. All these skills help with the lives of other in these ways: Customer service lets me speak to others and adapt into their speech pattern faster. Experience with teamwork allows me to establish certain roles faster and fit myself into the team in a more efficient or coherent position. The grocery store job taught me continuous improvement, a skill that will allow me to better my career daily as well as seek to aid others through constructive criticism. Job compartmentalization allows me to see things from a more birds-eye-view and see the full system a job entails. Horizontal and Vertical teamwork is my take on how careers work, an employee needs to understand the horizontal positions those like mine or those of equal company status as well as working upwards and downwards such as working with a Manager to get the best product out the door from the viewpoint of the management as well as working with a fresh intern to make sure he/she has enough help to get the job done, but not too much that you overwhelm them; this I have learned from Software Development and it will be useful to others so that I have a deep understand of the scope a full project brings when undertaken correctly.

  1. Introduce yourself!

This is yours truly Harrison Welch! I am a Junior at Austin Peay State University majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Mathematics and Business. My interests and hobbies are in Robotics involving Arduino and Raspberry Pi, Web development like AngularJS and LeafletJS, and Android Mobile development. I have a part-time job at the APSU GIS Center as a Software Developer for which I have a year in experience where I am mainly as a Mobile and Web developer. I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Circle K, and Manna Café.


Alternative Break Pre-Trip

Good morning,

Well, for me it’s evening but it’s always morning somewhere, right? So good morning! My name is Jillian, and I’ll be your writer this evening. A little about me: I am not yet 18, and I still sleep with a teddy bear named Anthony. I am really excited to be going on this trip and think it will be a wonderful experience. Academically, I currently do not have a major. Soon enough though, I will be focused on molecular and cellular biology. I am highly interested in it as a stepping stone to epidemiology later on. Epidemiology is right up the alley of my passion, that being infectious diseases. I’m passionate about this because I want to help anyone and everyone, no matter who or where they are.

But what am I thinking? Back to trip talk. I have a few skills that will probably help to improve life for others, even  in this trip. Or hope that they will. I happen to work with younger kids just about daily, so I have a decent idea of how some of these children are going to be and how to work with them and get them to listen. That being said, I know how to listen and engage with them on their level. I believe that this will help others engage in a similar way and get the most out of their time.

I think that’s all for now, g’night folks!



post atlanta

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?

From prior history classes, I was able to talk about the history of different cultures and how art can sway them.
2. Looking back on your experience, in what ways have you personally developed & learned from this experience that will help you in the future?

I have learned that I want to work for a nonprofit, creating art for a purpose.




Post Trip Reflection

(I want to start by appologizing that it took me so long to write this! Better late than never hopefully (: )

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 think I used some of my psychology experience when interacting with the people we meet on the trip. I think it helped me understand more of how the children reacted to strangers after coming from traumas in their home countries. I also think my organizational skills helped us allot out our time on our excursion day to try to include everyone. 

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

This trip taught me more about myself, I learned that I am deeply sensitive to the struggles of others. Even when leaving I felt like our work wasn’t done, I was very sad that there would be millions of people still struggling to leave their home countries. I learned that  I want to use my psychology knowledge in helping people who come from war-torn countries. I also learned from this experience that children, despite all they have been through, still behave like happy normal children. We visited a house of Somali immigrants, and even though it was infested with roaches, the three young children still giggled at the strangers in their home and played peek a boo with each other. I think this experience with refugees and non violence training will help me in future volunteer work.  


Post Trip – Georgia


I loved my trip to Georgia. Learning about and helping the refugees was an amazing experience that I am so grateful to have had. APSU prepared me for the trip by helping me out of my shell. In physics, we are often required to give presentations and are encouraged to engage in club activities, especially Del Square Si (the physics club) activities. A common event in the club is to help out with outreach events that take place in bordering elementary and high schools.  At the event we show kids cool science stuff and try to explain the concepts behind them simply enough for them to grasp what is happening. While volunteering we spent a lot of time with kids and communication with them was made easier by my experiences at APSU outreach events.

Going in I did not have the prejudices against refugees that I feel a lot of people have. My belief in the lack of basis for the mean thoughts surrounding refugees were solidified. They are just people who want to live in a safe environment; everyone deserves to feel safe. On another note, we talked a lot about the condition of some refugee camps and this made me think of using my physics and math to help the quality of living in the camps, essentially making the camps more like self-sufficient communities.  I know I will want to work with refugees in the future and this trip gave me all the experience and knowledge I need to effectively help more refugees.

Jessica B.


William Legier – Post Trip – Guatemala 2017

Hola! My name is William Legier. I’ve just returned from Antigua, Guatemala and I have to say, just, what an experience. Packing up, about two day’s worth of air travel in total, and a whole week just in another country having to acclimate to a different culture. Not only did I learn a great few new skills, in terms of construction, while I was there, but I also had the extreme satisfaction of volunteering (with everyone else in my group) at Antigua own Municipal Fire Department. I met some of these firefighters and Maximo Nivel staff and am happy to call a few of them friends. At the station itself, our team focused on building a more sound infrastructure; improve restroom conditions, painting, and quite a bit of concrete mixing and laying (just to name a few things we accomplished there). I’m just glad to have been a part of this trip and I know it’ll be an experience that I won’t soon forget! Until I return that is…


Post Trip Blog Post Clarkston-Georgia 2017 by Wayne White

Being approached 2 days before leaving for Georgia I didn’t know what to expect. So going into the trip I had little expectations. I did not know any of the 7 other people I was traveling with, nor did I know that I would be brought to tears over the experiences we were about to encounter.

First, let me talk about Clarkston.

Clarkston is a small 1.1 Square mile of refugee culture. There are over 150 languages spoken there and many different religions practiced. I thought before that going in this my world view was open, but after the week we spent working with the refugees I realized just how closed off to the rest of the world I had become. Americans are shown lies through media what a refugee’s life is like. Media portrays refugees as being people who want to take over our land, take our resources and destroy our way of life. However, I know differently. Refugees are here because they had no other place to go.

I met children in an international school who had been forced to leave their families behind. Many of which had left their home only to be placed in refugee camps for years.  This school was understaffed, and had very limited budget. I was working with a class and the teacher had to re-use notebooks from her previous students just so the children had paper to journal on. It broke my heart but kick started a passion to want to help this school.

This trip has expanded my world view and has reinforced my thinking that all human life is sacred and that in order to survive this world we have to work together. The world is war-torn and many people are fleeing their home countries in search of survival. I would like to go back to Clarkston, GA next year and help in the international school.