Stephanie Jian


List the trips you participated in and leadership roles you held with Alternative Breaks:
So hard to remember! I feel so old as I do this! 
2008-2009 ASB Houston AIDS Foundation
2009-2010 AB Weekend Co-Coordinator, AWB Alternatives for Girls
2010-2011 AB Spring Co-Coordinator
2011-2012 AB Co-Director

What are you up to now?
I’m currently an optometry student at the UC Berkeley. I’m about to start my 4th and final year in the program and will be spending the next year rotating through different clinics and VA hospitals.

Do you have a favorite story or memory from your AB tenure?
I was so proud of the first AB Story Slam event, and even more proud when I was able to attend the Story Slam event the following year. I am so passionate about the power of storytelling, and there is no better way to understand the incredible impact Alternative Break trips have on students’ lives other than through first hand accounts.

How, if at all, has your experience with AB shaped who you are and what you’re doing today?
Alternative Breaks gave me the opportunity to develop tremendous leadership and team-building skills as well as cementing a lifelong commitment to service. Participating in Alternative Breaks in a leadership capacity and seeing how non-profit organizations function on a day-to-day basis helped me envision all the possibilities I could have in the future to serve the community.

The positive, encouraging, productive and team-centered environment that was created by my Alternative Breaks colleagues has given me a high standard to compare all my other leadership and work experiences to. I miss AB so much!

What advice would you give to our next batch of AB participants?
Use your Alternative Break experience not only as an opportunity to serve now but also as a chance to see into your future and imagine creative and productive ways to incorporate service into your life.  

Alternative Breaks is celebrating 15 years of service. Where would you like to see the organization in the next 15 years?
Wow this is so incredible! I’m honored to be part of such a long legacy.

I would love to see Alternative Breaks grow an even stronger alumni network and be able to fund the large majority of students’ trips.

It would be incredible to feature alumni who have gone on to incorporate community service into their lives and careers and share how Alternative Breaks help to inspire their lifelong commitment to service.