Two groups of Missouri University of Science and Technology students will spend their spring break working with organizations that deal with hunger and illness, including HIV/AIDS, in Chicago and Washington, D.C.
The students are involved in Missouri S&T’s Miner Challenge, a week-long alternative spring break program that gives them a chance to help individuals and communities affected by issues like poverty and homelessness, while developing their own leadership skills. Twenty students will participate this year — half will spend their spring break in Chicago working with organizations that provide services to those impacted by hunger and HIV/AIDS and half will fly to Washington, D.C., to work at various food banks. This is the fifth year of the program.
“This will be the first time Miner Challenge has travelled far enough to require a flight,” says Malinda Love, Missouri S&T’s student program administrator for volunteerism and involvement, who will accompany the students on the Washington, D.C., trip. “The students will see extreme wealth and extreme poverty first hand in D.C. — it’s really in your face.”
The D.C. team will leave on Saturday, March 24, and the Chicago team will leave on Sunday, March 25. Both teams will return on Saturday, March 31.
Angela Perkins, director of student life, will travel with the Chicago group. Love says the students Perkins accompanied to New Orleans last year worked side-by-side with homeless people there and were enlightened by the experience.
“They discovered homeless people are not lazy,” says Love. “The students realized many people all over the country are just one or two paychecks away from being displaced.”
S&T students participating in Miner Challenge are:
- Cagatay “Ty” Atmaca, a graduate student in geology and geophysics from Rolla
- Amanda Cook, senior in petroleum engineering from Wake Forest, N.C.
- Raheel Hassan, sophomore in biological sciences from St. Louis
- Sara Jones, sophomore in applied math from O’Fallon, Mo.
- Kristin Luecke, sophomore in aerospace engineering from Arnold, Mo.
- Shelby McNeil, sophomore in applied math from Republic, Mo.
- Greg Sharp, sophomore in computer engineering from St. Louis
- Zahrasadat “Sara” Tabatabaei, graduate student in civil engineering from Rolla
- Kyle Thompson, senior in environmental engineering from Tulsa, Okla.
- Ryan Yoakum, senior in history from Dixon, Mo.
Washington D.C. Team
- Mohammed Al Ayesh, senior in petroleum engineering from Rolla
- Brittney Abel, sophomore in psychology from Rolla
- Josh Collins, junior in electrical engineering from Urbana, Mo.
- David DeVoss, junior in chemical engineering from Springfield, Mo.
- Maimouna Diop, sophomore in engineering management from St. Robert, Mo.
- Brad Harris, senior in mechanical engineering from Rolla
- Shannon Loyet, sophomore in ceramic engineering from Pacific, Mo.
- Eddie “Eki” Rascon, junior in psychology from Anthony, Texas
- Kiara Shank, freshman in engineering from Hazelwood, Mo.
- Hailey Tipton, sophomore in mechanical engineering from Imperial, Mo.