Make an Impact During Spring Break
For spring break last year, 20 college students headed to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to spend a week planting, building, painting, and more.
They were participating in Teach For America’s first annual Impact: Spring Break, a week-long, all-expenses-paid opportunity to volunteer in one of TFA’s partner communities and help affect long-term change. While there, they worked on projects specifically targeting food insecurity, as well as learned about the history of the community and toured some of its most important landmarks.
Impact will return to Tulsa for a second year, for the week of March 11, 2018.
Participants in the 2017 program came from across the country, and represented many different college majors and backgrounds. They spent the week working with the nonprofit Global Gardens, Impact’s partner organization in 2017, building school and community gardens that will be used by families in need in the Tulsa community.
Situated in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Global Gardens teaches local middle and high school students the importance of science and the environment while empowering them to accomplish their goals and be forward-thinking leaders in their neighborhoods.
Global Gardens got its start in January 2007 as an after-school program. It has grown incrementally since then, with its community garden and family food farm both opening in 2012.
It aims to not only provide healthy food options to local families, but also serve as an agent of change in the community. It provides a critical lens into the intersection of social issues, specifically how healthy food options can influence education and community well-being.
The experience allowed participants to deeply immerse themselves in a location often forgotten by national media, while learning more about how they can help communities like Tulsa rise to systemic challenges.
Later in the week, Impact participants repainted a local community market, Westside Harvest Market, that provides affordable fresh foods to low-income Tulsans.
In addition to completing hands-on service projects and engaging in work that intersects with educational inequity, Impact enabled participants to meet other college changemakers and network with TFA leaders and community partners.
We’re excited to continue our partnership with Tulsa for our second annual Impact: Spring Break. Due to overwhelmingly positive feedback from previous participants and our partners, and the countless opportunities for impact, we’re eager to return to the region and continue making a difference for its children and community.
Specific service project and partner organization information for 2018 will be revealed soon.
The 2018 Impact application requires you to upload a resume, provide academic information, and respond to three short-answer responses. Note that the application for the 2018 program closed on February 4, 2018.
To learn more about other opportunities for college students, see Internships and Experiences.
Photographs by Shane Bevel.