Amanda Hansen Former Executive Board Member
Amanda Hansen
Former Executive Board Member

AWOL is such an amazing way to get involved on campus, give back to those in need, and gain many important life skills. It brings more meaning to service work because the participants get to engage in the community and immerse themselves to learn about the culture and area that they are helping. My experience in AWOL has taught me important leadership and organizational skills, as well as how important it is to work as a team. My most memorable experience in AWOL was when we worked with Habitat for Humanity in OKC. We were able to meet the woman whose home we were working on and got to see first hand her appreciation for our dedication and hard work. It made the long days of work worth it to see how grateful she was. The program has grown so much over the last few years, I cannot wait to see where it goes after we pass the torch to a new board and site leader crew.

 

 

Jessica Sundleaf Former Executive Board Member
Jessica Sundleaf
Former Executive Board Member

 

“Becoming a part of the AWOL organization my freshman year opened my eyes to issues facing our country that I was never aware of. Over the last four years, AWOL has inspired me to become a more integral part of whatever community I am a part of. It has also allowed me to see the issues that people around the country are facing each day. Immersing myself in various cultures helped me develop into the person I am today. I will be starting medical school this summer, and AWOL has provided me with the tools and skills necessary to form positive relationships with my patients and my community.”

 

Kirsty Longley Executive Board Member
Kirsty Longley
AWOL President, Former AWOL Director of Community Events

 

 

“AWOL gets students engaged in the community. It starts with students doing service, but turns into students understanding the world around them. Being so engaged in one community has inspired me to do things to make the world a better place. I encourage anyone looking to develop their skills as an active citizen to become a part of AWOL.”

 

 

 

 


 

Jacob Munger Executive Board Member
Jacob Munger
AWOL Director of Community Events, Former Co-Director of Marketing

“My most memorable experience from being an executive board leader has to have been running serve and learn. Working with incoming freshman and helping them develop an even greater want to serve the community and see them develop as potential campus leaders is a really satisfying experience. AWOL has helped me in many ways from developing leadership to making great friends and I recommend anyone who wants to make a difference apply.”

 

 

 

 


 

Danny Mullin Co-Director of Recruitment
Danny Mullin
Former Executive Board Member

“My participation with AWOL has introduced me to new friendships, experiences, and knowledge during my time in college. Engaging in service projects throughout the United States has provided me a new perspective towards the obstacles that many communities face each day. These obstacles, like food insecurity and disaster relief, would have likely gone unnoticed if I did not commit my free time to this great organization. We might not be able to save the world, but we can make a positive impact in many individual’s lives.”

 

 

 


 

Ashley McKeown President of Operations
Ashley McKeown
Former Executive Board Member

“For three years AWOL and the Alternative Breaks movement have had a major impact in my student, leader and citizenship development and I could not have asked for a more rewarding experience. When I became President of the Executive Board, I was incredibly nervous to lead an already amazing group of students into a bigger and better program. Although it was challenging at times, it was the most valuable experience of my undergraduate career. Not only did I get the opportunity to help facilitate many positive changes in the program with our advisors Chris Stockdale, Sara Wittmuss, Sara Boyum and the rest of the executive team, but I have transformed from a volunteer into an active citizen, ready to be an integral part of local community development and inspire others to do the same. AWOL and the Alternative Breaks movement are creating a Society of Active Citizens that I am proud to be a part of. I would encourage anybody who loves service and wants to grow as a leader and an active citizen to apply for an E-Board position and as a site leader. We cannot wait to see the new group of leaders that will continue to expand our program in the 2015/2016 year.”

 

 

 


 

Katie Loutsch Site Leader
Katie Loutsch – AWOL Director of Finance & Fundraising

“Through my time as both a participant and as a Site Leader in AWOL, I have been able to make new friends and connections, experience new things, and learn more about myself while making a difference in the world. AWOL has particularly made a significant impact on me by guiding me to understand why we go on trips to do service work and led me towards a better daily understanding of the social issues in my community. As a Spring Break Site Leader this year, I enjoyed trip planning and logistics (because I’m weird like that!) in addition to building a group that was prepared to take action against the issues associated with disability care. The opportunity to help others realize more than just that “feel good” feeling of doing service work is so inspiring. It has truly encouraged me to be more of an active citizen everyday by helping me to experience ways of educating people about what I have learned on my social issue!”


 

Nathaniel Steinlicht - Site Leader
Nathaniel Steinlicht – Site Leader

 

 

“My most memorable experience as a Site Leader would be when we dedicated the house we built for a needy family in Guatemala. They had nothing to give us in return except gratitude, but they sincerely meant each word they which meant more to me than any amount of money ever could. Even though I may never see that house or family again, I will never forget their gracious words to us. Applying to be a Site Leader is a chance to take on a leadership role in a great organization while at the same time learning valuable skills. You will learn how to effectively run a meeting, manage a diverse group of people and personalities, and develop materials for teaching participants about your social issue.”

 

 


 

Andrew
Andrew Koch – AWOL Vice President

“I have been on two AWOL trips, one to the Rosebud Indian Reservation and another to the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, and I will never be able to fully explain how much they have shaped me as a person. My experiences with AWOL have taught me that the sad statistics we see on the news are often far from the reality. While it is true that poverty is a pervasive issue in the areas I have served, there are also so many good things. AWOL has shown me that wherever there are those who are willing to volunteer their time to better their community there is a culture of hope that cannot be extinguished.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

Shane Bryan - Assistant Director, Student Outreach Resource Center. Johns Hopkins University
Shane Bryan – Assistant Director, Student Outreach Resource Center. Johns Hopkins University

 

“Getting involved in AWOL challenged me to think critically about society and my role within community. It provided me with professional development, unique opportunities to work alongside University administrators, and the foundation for my personal and professional future as I strive to engage others through transformational service-learning experiences at Johns Hopkins University.”

 

 

 

 

 


 

BoudreauD-img_8686_0
Dominique Boudreau – Student, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

“In 2009, I traveled to San Francisco with a group of fun, eager USD students to learn about the reality of homelessness. Within a week, we met countless individuals that had one thing in common – the desire to bring hope to the suffering. We saw how massive food drives were established, drug recovery programs were placed on street corners, and soup kitchens were funded. These tasks started with a small idea and even smaller resources. Because the designers believed and inspired, great organizations grew from them. Since 2009, I’ve had many opportunities to step out of my comfort zone. You can read about my service work in India hereWithout AWOL, I wouldn’t know how a little risk and inconvenience can be so powerful. Not to mention, the week was a blast!”