AB Participant of the Week: February 22

Meet Shea O'Sullivan!

Year: Sophomore

Major: Political Science and History


We asked Shea to answer some questions for us about why she decided to participate in Alternative Breaks and what she loves most about it. So here are her answers.

Which Alternative Break(s) have you previously participated in?

I have participated in 2015 Summer Alt break in Memphis, TN working with Alzheimer's Day Services and 2016 Winter Break in Charleston, SC with WINGS and Lowcountry Orphan Relief!

What is your favorite thing about Alternative Breaks?

There’s so many amazing things about Alternative Breaks, but probably my favorite is the type of service learning that is encountered on a break. There really is no other experience at KU quite like it. Volunteering with different organizations in different parts of the country has opened my mind to some of the larger social issues in the world that we live in, but also taught me numerous ways to be resilient and tackle these issues one day at a time.

What was your favorite thing you learned from Alternative Breaks?

The best thing I learned from Alternative Breaks was the idea of ‘serve, not save’. In order to do the most good in the community, you have to take a step back from your preconceived thoughts on how community services should be run, and acknowledge that while doing service, you are there for others. Even the smallest clerical task that seems insignificant to you could mean the world of difference to someone else. 

What is your favorite memory from Alternative Breaks?

I have many favorite memories from Alt Breaks, but overall I think each of my favorite memories has stemmed from the people on the breaks with me. Alternative Breaks brings together people who want to make a difference and have willingly given up their time to spend it helping others. Because of that, you become fast friends with everyone in the program, and that is something truly remarkable.

What is a random fact about yourself?

I’m from Hutchinson, KS and have a dog named Chilly. I first heard about Alternative Breaks from a sorority sister who had gone on a break to the Everglades!


If what Shea has said makes you want to serve, learn, and grow with us, check out our Alternative Weekend Breaks on our website http://www.kuab.org/weekend-breaks/