Shelby Boschert, Joe Elbert and Kate Weiser spent their break from classes serving others. These three College of Education students have a passion for helping others. They traveled across the country with Bear Breaks to learn invaluable skills. These skills will serve them well as they enter classrooms.
Boschert, senior early childhood education student, and Elbert, junior special education major, co-led a trip to Colorado focused on helping children and families. Elbert and Boschert began prepping and planning for their March trip in September of 2018.
Boschert and their group served at the Children’s Hospital in Colorado. The trip took a total of 11 hours for the crew. After arriving in Aurora, a blizzard hit, causing the team to adapt.
“Joe and I had to be flexible and make sure that reflection and service was a priority,” Boschert said.
At the hospital, the group worked in the child care center, crafted with patients, siblings and parents, distributed snacks to the nurses, and ran community activities.
The experience Boschert and Elbert had in Colorado was more than just a service trip. It’s helped them in their professional development.
“Bear Breaks has reinforced the idea that schools are meant to be a safe haven for students,” Elbert said. “Our students may have chaos in their life after school.”
“Bear Breaks showed me firsthand how these issues can affect my future students and gave me ideas on how I can help them.”
“There’s so much that classes alone cannot teach you,” Boschert said. “Bear Breaks helps to supplement that. Being a great teacher means you are open to change, experiences and want to continue to grow as a person and a teacher.”
To New Orleans
Weiser, sophomore middle school education major with an emphasis in history and science, led a trip to New Orleans focused on sustainability.
Like Boschert and Elbert, Weiser and her co-leader spent nine months planning for the trip. Weiser enjoyed her two years with Bear Breaks so much that she now serves as the director of membership and education for the organization.
Weiser’s trip to New Orleans included working on educational farms and gardens.
“The people that welcomed us into their project homes and shared their life stories with us are something I will never forget,” Weiser said.
Her passion for service started before college.
“When I came to MSU, I felt like something was missing,” Weiser explained. After volunteering during MSU’s Day of Service on campus, she sought out other service opportunities and found Bear Breaks.
She found her place in Bear Breaks and found great friendships in the group she led this past spring break.
“Each one of the participants was amazing and really brought great skills to the team,” Weiser said.
“We were truly immersed in the city of New Orleans and made a connection to the city that no tourist walking up and down Bourbon Street could ever experience.”
Like Boschert and Elbert, Weiser plans to use the skills she’s developed from this service in her classroom.
“My leadership skills were pushed to the max over the week,” Weiser said. “I have grown in every single way.”
She plans to start her own educational garden in her future classrooms thanks to her Bear Break experience.