‘A little bit of giving can change someone’s life.’
Student Jeremy Prosk reflects on his Spring Break Thru experience
By KATYA GORDEEVA
(Katya Gordeeva is a student intern in Purdue University Calumet’s Office of University Relations.)
Jeremy Prosk said he wanted to do something useful that would help someone else during his Purdue Calumet spring break this year.
So the senior electrical engineering major from Hammond decided to participate in the university’s Spring Break Thru program (March 15-19) and assist Lakeshore Area Regional Recovery of Indiana (LARRI). During his week of volunteering, he helped clean and paint homes of residents still suffering from the effects of flooding that devastated much of Northwest Indiana during September, 2008.
Homes in disarray
“Wow, this is pretty bad!” was his initial reaction, he said, when he first stepped into one of the homes. He added that that he couldn’t believe it when he saw some homes in complete disarray.
Of the 39 students and staff who participated in Spring Break Thru, 18 joined Prosk in the LARRI initiative of repairing, painting and cleaning flood-damaged area homes.
This year marked Purdue Calumet’s second annual Spring Break Thru, a community outreach, service learning program designed to improve local, regional and national communities. During this year’s program, other students and staff did cleaning and planted trees and flowers at Indiana Dunes, while others read to children at the Hammond Haven House.
Happier faces at end of day
Prosk said his favorite part of his involvement was meeting residents and seeing their faces at the end of the day, adding that they were so much happier than they were at the beginning.
“Not only did you have a chance to interact and meet new people,” he said, “but you stepped into someone else’s shoes and saw what his or her life was like.”
It’s not about ‘yourself’
By the end of his week of volunteering, Prosk said he came away with a valuable perspective: “Instead of being all about yourself, you can help someone else,” he said. “A little bit of giving can change someone’s life.”
In addition to keeping a log, we invited Jeremy to take a flip camera with him during his Spring Break Thru week to record images of his experience. As Spring Break Thru 2010 coordinator, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Outreach Rick Riddering did likewise during the LARRI and Indiana Dunes initiatives. For confidentiality reasons, no video or photography were shot at the Hammond Haven House.
What the images Jeremy and Rick shot may lack in professional quality, they make up for in heart-felt passion and commitment. So, thanks, very much, Guys!
Additionally, we wish to express a huge thanks to the folks at LARRI, who provided us additional footage, and a couple real professional videographers—Purdue Calumet Department of Communication & Creative Arts Production Coordinator Craig Blohm and Purdue Calumet alumnus Tony Santucci—for applying their vast expertise to “connect the dots,” so to speak, of this multi-media feature package. To see and hear more for yourself, click play on the following video.
PHOTOS BY RICK RIDDERING (Communication, 1985)
VIDEOGRAPHY BY CRAIG BLOHM & TONY SANTUCCI (Communication, 1999)
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