Connecticut College Students Learn Native American Culture On “Alternative Spring Break”

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BRUSHY (KFSM) -- Twelve students from the University of Connecticut have been in Brushy, Okla. for their spring break helping and learning about the Cherokee community.

Kaitlin Carter, a junior at UConn who organized the trip, said they call it an alternative spring break.

“We're working at an elderly woman's home who is wheelchair bound, and we're helping cleaning up her house,” Carter said. “They're doing some painting, cleaning up the yard, which is great, and we're also working on a youth community building.”

Cater said students apply for different alternative spring breaks, and this one focuses on Native American rights.

“We're just appreciative to be down here, and that they're so welcoming and teaching us about the Cherokee culture and Cherokee history is just a great experience because you can only learn so much from people, from history books and from classes being down here you really understand the way of life and the culture,” Carter said.

Carter said an alternative spring break is all about community service, but for some students the people they help end up helping them.

“No one can come and help her,” student Farzana Zubair said about the woman they are helping. “She doesn't have the money for it. She doesn't have the money to move, she doesn't have money for anything. It was really sad seeing her, and i made a pretty good connection with her.”

Zubair said she plans to stay in contact with the woman.

“I want to know more about her, and I want her to know more about me because I want to make her life a bit brighter,” Zubair said.

The students arrived Saturday (March 12) and will leave Saturday (March 19).

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