Friday, April 03, 2015

Leadership lived: Student leads Alternative Spring Break trip

Before attending the University of Illinois Springfield, Brittani Provost says she didn’t know what being a leader meant. The Sociology and Anthropology major volunteered in high school, but didn’t fully realize the impact of her work.

“I’d been involved in different organizations, had done volunteer work and stuff, but I never really took on the idea of being a leader and what that meant,” said Provost.

At UIS, Provost is president of the Alternative Spring Break student organization. She recently led a group of 20 students on a week-long trip to Biloxi, Mississippi where they volunteered with Head Start preschoolers and students at the Boys and Girls Club. The group also participated in a coastal erosion prevention project.

“I was primarily looking for a Youth in Education trip,” said Provost. “It was something that Alternative Spring Break really hadn’t got involved in before and we kind of saw Mississippi as an area that needed help.”

At Head Start, UIS students spent time working alongside teachers in the classroom and helping with projects.

“I had the opportunity to help them learn how to read a little bit and write their names and they were on a nutrition unit, so we were working with kind of explaining things about nutrition,” she said.

On campus, Provost also oversees volunteer projects as co-director of the Leadership for Life and is a member of the Capital Scholars Honors Program.

Following graduation, she wants to work for a non-profit agency and eventually earn her master’s degree.

“Obviously, my volunteer work and all the different leadership experiences that I’ve done have definitely contributed to that kind of work,” she said.

Provost encourages other people to get involved and volunteer.

“It might not be for everyone, but it definitely has something to offer you as far as growing as a person and being able to help the community,” said Provost.

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