Nicole Letendre ’23
Chief Features Editor
At the College of the Holy Cross, it’s no secret that the Spring Break Immersion program is a central part of the college experience for so many students impacted by the opportunity to meet new people and participate in their community. Recently, Holy Cross students had the chance to attend the Spring Break Immersion Information Session in Rehm Library, where co-chairs Kerry Bresnahan ’22, Christine Dapaah-Afriyie ’22, and Olivia Hastie ’22 spoke about their experiences participating in Spring Break Immersion and why they love the program. The program is almost entirely student run and encompasses a total of about four different types of sites; These are L’Arche, Appalachia, sustainability, and urban sites. L’Arche communities are composed of adults with and without intellectual disabilities, where all are welcome to share meals and participate in community together. The sustainability sites are new this year and center around farming communities and “a better way to care for our earth.” Sustainability sites will likely have nearby locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut for students to participate in.
Spring Break Immersion itself will run from March 5 to March 11, and applications are now open and due Nov. 15. If you would like to participate, all you need to do to apply is fill out a simple Google Form, where you can see the different types of sites available and an approximate cost (~$200-$800 depending on the site). There is an application process for those who would like to receive financial aid and there are options on the Google form to indicate preferences related to flight versus driving distances, cost, and the focus of the site (such as gender equality, sustainability, homelessness, etc.).
Once we get back from break in January, there will be a “Reveal Night” in Seelos Theater where students will find out, in a creative way, where they will be going for Spring Break Immersion; Here the students will also have their first meeting with their group. The Friday before departure, students will have a kick-off dinner at Kimball, then, after arriving back from their site, there will be a welcome-back dinner at Kimball as well — usually involving a friendly competition in the form of a costume contest and bowling. Later on, students will have the opportunity to go to the Joyce Contemplative Center (JCC) to reconnect with their immersion group and reflect on their experiences at their site.
It’s apparent that Holy Cross students who have participated in Spring Break Immersion have made many meaningful connections with the individuals they have met at their various sites and feel very passionate about the program. Co-chair Christine Dapaah-Afriyie ’22 summed up the experience beautifully when she stated, “If I could go back to every site and every person, I would in a heartbeat.” If you are interested in applying, you can contact any of the student co-chairs via email: email@example.com.