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Reclaiming Regional Renewal in Metro Detroit

A microproject by Break Away
Reclaiming Regional Renewal in Metro Detroit
Sep 16, 2013

Detroit ABCs: Reclaiming Regional Renewal

Metro Detroit ABCs Participants
Metro Detroit ABCs Participants

It is a busy time of the year here at Break Away. We are currently in the midst of our fall Site Leader Retreat season, having already trained students at the University of Colorado-Denver, the University of South Carolina, Rollins College (FL), Southern Methodist University (TX) and the University of Delaware.

Back in the office, we’re able to reflect on a successful summer. We were able to train over 215 student leaders and staff (a new record for us!) on how to run effective alternative break programs at the ABCs, and engage them in meaningful service and the work of better assessing community impact. This year’s ABCs graduates will oversee over a thousand service trips and several thousand student participants, and will work with hundreds of community partner organizations to provide thousands of hours of direct service. 

With your generous support, we were able to support the Metro Detroit ABCs, our second conference of the summer. We worked with a number of organizations, including:

  • Cass Community Social Services, a Detroit-based non-profit that "assists people living in areas of concentrated poverty by offering food, housing, healthcare, and jobs." Cass prepares and serves a million meals a year, while providing shelter, affordable housing and a free medical clininc.
  • Growing Hope, an Ypsilanti-based non-profit whose mission is to "help people improve their lives and communities through gardening and healthy food access." They foster learning, improve nutrition, encourageself-reliance, and "promote positive community futures through a capacity-building approach."

Metro Detroit ABCs by the numbers:

  • 43 student participants and 32 staff participants joined us from 45 schools
  • 516 hours of direct service were provided to three community partners
  • 16 workshops were conducted on best practices for alternative break programs 

Additionally, your support assisted the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Active Citizen City Chapter, a group of alternative break alumni and other active citizens doing direct service, advocacy and philanthropy work in southeast Michigan. 

There were similar successes at the three other ABCs. In Atlanta we worked with organizations that engage youth outside the classroom, including Create Your Dreams, an after-school, youth develop program that works to break the cycle of generational poverty. Our return to Grand Canyon National Park, in partnership with the National Parks Service, had students working with the hazard tree and native vegetation programs; many schools have committed to sending a trip to a National Park this year, as a result of the conference.

Our service partner in Philadelphia was PhillyRising, an initiative out of the mayor’s office meant to respond to the requests and vision of citizens in neighborhoods facing issues of crime and quality of life concerns. PhillyRising was so impressed by our service work that they’ve offered to find housing for alternative break groups who want to work with them.

Your support was essential to the success of these trainings and other programs. Because you're helping support the entire movement, however, your donation multiplies. Student leaders will carry the knowledge and service of this summer back to their own programs, which facilitate service for thousands of breakers and work in hundreds of communities.

We thank you for your donation, which allows us to do this work, and look forward to periodically updating you on our work and the progress of the movement. 

In Solidarity,

The Break Away Team

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Organization Information

Break Away

Location: Atlanta, Georgia - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @activecitizenHQ
Project Leader:
Sam Giacobozzi
Executive Director
Atlanta, Georgia United States

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