Reflections, StudentAffairs

Finding our Strengths(Quest) with Alternative Spring Break #asbABQ13

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This Spring Break, I will be accompanying 9 undergraduate students from University of North Texas (UNT) as we road trip west to work with the Mi Casa Es Su Casa – Metropolitan Homelessness Project in Albuquerque, NM (#asbABQ13). We are one of the many UNT Alternative Spring Break trips created for students who want to give back to their community and participate in a service learning project while away from academics. Our trip is a new location; however I believe that we will be primarily be working to set up new spaces for those who are without a home.

Part of our efforts before the trip has involved getting to know one another, and raise funds to support our groups trip.

So far we had a moderately successful bake sale last week, selling “Treats for Your Sweet”… (yours truly even baked in her “spare” time)…

bake sale

And recently I encouraged the group to “LAUNCH” a Student Launcher website (formerly known as AlumniChoose), to crowd-source funds via their own social networks.

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If you would like to help fund part of the students’ travels, meals, or house-warming gifts for the new tentants, please feel free to contribute what you can to the launched #asbABQ13 funding raising site: 

Bonus: If you help fundraise, we ensure that you can follow along with our efforts and adventures. We promise to share photos and updates about our trip, and the progress we make with the Mi Casa Es Su Casa project.

Reviewing our Strengths

The last part of our trip prep has been about building our team and getting to know one another. Kudos to Irene & Becca, the #asbABQ13 site leaders, who have done a great job bringing everyone together and planning a large chunk of the trip. At our last group meeting, we debriefed about our top 5 strengths from StrengthsQuest during our last meeting. It was great to learn about what others will bring to our service project.


Here are my top 5 Strengths:


“You are inquisitive. You collect things…because it interests you…to add more information to your archives…each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.”

Dead on. I blame my academic background in history for my documentation, archival, recording, and research approach to things. Travel and adventures might also contribute to my desire to collect these memories and moments – I take photos, tweet, save, and then some.


“…enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large…“What if?” Select. Strike.”

When you have a lot of things going on at the same time – you sort of have to be.


…intrigued by the unique qualities of each person. You are impatient with generalizations or “types”…focus on the differences between individuals…a keen observer of other people’s strengths, you can draw out the best in each person…helps you build productive teams.

It’s true. I don’t like boxes, compartments, labels, or single identities. Everyone is a beautiful and unique snowflake, and I want to get to know them better. Blanket statements and group designations don’t fly with me.


“Only action can make things happen. Only action leads to performance. Once a decision is made, you cannot not act…action and thinking are not opposites…you believe that action is the best device for learning. You make a decision, you take action, you look at the result, and you learn…You must put yourself out there…you will be judged not by what you say, not by what you think, but by what you get done…”

This probably is connected to my Strategic strength. See my #oneword2013 => ACTION Need I say more. Less talk, more do. This #asbABQ13 is right up my alley.


“…The future fascinates you…it will always be inspirational to you…When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you. They can energize others…often people look to you to describe your visions of the future…”

Am I alone on this one? I am guessing that my current research focus and scholarly work help to fuel the fire of this one. I am okay with that – who doesn’t want to have a crystal ball? Let’s take a look at my archives from my Input strength, and look to what is on the horizon. So far, I can predict a great Alternative Spring Break trip. 🙂