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Alternative Breaks is a program of the School of Leadership Studies focused around the servicelearning model by providing students the opportunity to participate in an intense service experience during their winter, spring, and weekend breaks. This model challenges participants to prepare, act, reflect, and evaluate their service experience, as well as expands both the community impact and studentsâ€™ personal growth through service. Alternative Breaks sites are typically located in larger cities, making the program a perfect match for the K-State Edgerley-Franklin Urban Leadership Scholars â€“ a scholarship program that focuses on preparing future leaders for the challenges facing urban communities and families. The scholarship is made possible by the Edgerley and Franklin families and recognizes their continuous support to individuals from urban areas who support their communities. Although it is not a requirement for Edgerley-Franklin students to participate in Alternative Breaks, many choose to and find it a valuable experience. During the fall 2013 semester, Bernard Franklin, co-sponsor of the scholarship program, recognized the potential for service and partnership with the Edgerley-Franklin students and connected them to organizations that help meet the needs of the Kansas City area, such as El Centro, where a group travelled this past fall. El Centro is a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening communities and improving the lives of Latinos in the Kansas City area through educational, social, and economic opportunities. In the future, the Edgerley-Franklin program plans to continue working with Alternative Breaks. Planning is in the works to create a spring break site in the Kansas City area specifically for the Edgerley-Franklin students. This would provide them the opportunity to travel and develop as a group. During their time in Kansas City, the group hopes to work with several partners throughout the week to help students understand different levels of challenges that urban communities often face.
Former Edgerley-Franklin Urban Leadership Scholars at an Alternative Breaks program site in Chicago (from left to right: Michelle Foster, Ismael Hernandez, and Miguel Valdes).