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For Local Student, a Week of Hard Labor Isn’t a Sentence, But an Opportunity

Abby Ernatt will be volunteering with the Rural Reconstruction project at the Southern Appalachian Labor School in West Virginia.

Abby Ernatt of Lake Orion plans to spend part of her break from Saginaw Valley State University volunteering at the Appalachian Labor School in Kincaid, WV.
Abby Ernatt of Lake Orion plans to spend part of her break from Saginaw Valley State University volunteering at the Appalachian Labor School in Kincaid, WV.

This winter, Abby Ernatt of Lake Orion will be among 55 Saginaw Valley State University students who are plan to spend parts of their holiday break volunteering for organizations helping others.

Ernatt, a pre-nursing major from Lake Orion, will participate in the project Rural Reconstruction at Southern Appalachian Labor School in Kincaid, WV The project, from Jan. 5-11, involves work on old coal camp houses while assisting with after-school programs for at-risk families.

The initiative is one of five opportunities being organized through SVSU's Alternative Breaks program, a student-led group that advocates volunteer work during traditional break periods from school.

Throughout December and January, students involved in Alternative Breaks will volunteer at Southern Appalachian Labor School in Kincaid, W. Va.; Bread For The World in Washington, D.C.; Beds For Kids in Richmond, Va.; the YMCA of Western North Carolina in Asheville; and the Habitat For Humanity of Kent County in Grand Rapids.

Upon returning from their Alternative Breaks, SVSU students will apply lessons learned on their trips toward community service projects close to SVSU and/or the students' home communities.

Saginaw Valley State University is a comprehensive university with more than 90 programs of study for its more than 10,000 students. Located on a suburban campus in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region, SVSU is committed to quality teaching in the classroom, field-based learning outside, NCAA Division II athletics and a broad range of academic and extracurricular opportunities for students to excel.


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