HU Students Spend Spring Break Helping Others

Sam P.K. Collins | 3/27/2013, 8:59 p.m.

"It's nothing to give up a week to build relationships with these kids," said Hernandes, a 20-year-old Atlanta native. "Every kid has a story to tell and it's important to listen. The Covenant House was created to fill voids so that's what we hope to do with this painting."

Carla Brooks, coordinator of the Prevention Services Program at Covenant House and a Southeast resident, wanted the Howard students to see the children there just as they would see any other group of children.

"Having some level of expectation should be important for kids whether they grow up in the suburbs or the inner city," said Brooks, 33. "I want them to view our kids the same way they view other kids. That means giving them the same opportunities. You never know what these kids will do when given those opportunities."

While some of the student volunteers assigned to the District initially applied for projects in other cities, they still recognized the value of serving locally.

"Some people wanted to leave D.C. for Alternative Spring Break without realizing that we could always come back to these sites and help again," said Natalie Morgan, 19, a senior who hails from Vallejo, Calif. "We can make these connections and maintain relationships after Alternative Spring Break," she said with a smile.