Transylvania receives national distinction for Alternative Break community partnership

Transylvania Alternative Break 2019

Transylvania University recently received a national recognition for this year’s Alternative Break, a community engagement partnership with local nonprofits.

The American Civic Collaboration Awards (Civvys) recognized the school with an honorable mention for the weeklong summer break program. “Since its inaugural year, the Civvys have highlighted outstanding efforts of civic collaboration making impacts in national, local and youth communities,” according to the awards group.

Tevin Monroe and Margaux Crider were specifically mentioned in the awards announcement earlier this month — Monroe is Transylvania’s coordinator of civic engagement and Crider is a former AmeriCorps VISTA for the school.

This Civvys recognition coincides with a Washington Monthly ranking that listed Transylvania among the nation’s top 10 schools for promoting public service.

At the end of this past school year, Transylvania’s Alternative Break program partnered students with local service organizations in projects that focused on themes like food justice, immigration and community development.

The university traditionally sends students out of state on alternative winter and spring break trips; but this time they stayed in Lexington, getting to know the town in new ways and learning about organizations they could continue volunteering for after Alternative Break ended.

For instance, students worked in the London Ferrill Community Garden and for Sweet Blessings, making cakes for kids with illnesses and who face other challenges in life. These Transy students also learned about immigration issues from Kentucky Refugee Ministries, and then helped teach a citizenship class.

It was collaboration with groups like KRM that made Transylvania’s Alternative Break stand out. “It took so many people to make this happen,” Monroe said. “It’s good that people believe in the mission of this kind of thing and the work that we do.”