2017 Alternative Spring Break: Suraiea Hussain, SSS Scholar

Suraiea Hussain

My name is Suraiea Hussain, a rising senior and double major in Human Resource Management and Communications. For Spring Break ’17, I had the honor of participating in an alternative spring break class in the Dominican Republic through the Center for Latino Arts and Culture. This was my first time in a country that was much different from my culture, and I was absolutely amazed. This experience was very valuable to me because I did not just spend my entire week on a resort like everyone else on spring break would do, but I actually got the opportunity to live and be immersed in different communities and cities within Dominican Republic. I witnessed social change in the way that the people of the Dominican Republic lived, the hard work they put in to be able to feed themselves and their families, and the beautiful art that surrounded every wall and building across the country. I appreciated the fact that I got to visit underrepresented communities, and provide community service to different schools, and organizations that fight for the rights of the lower class of the Dominican Republic. I also appreciated the rich history that the Dominican Republic came from, and how the people of DR are a symbol of that history. Studying abroad is important because it introduces you to a new culture, history, identity, and population. It will benefit students professionally, as well as educationally. This life-changing experience would not have been possible for me without the sponsorship of Student Access and Educational Equity and the Educational Opportunity Fund. The support from the Student Support Services staff allowed me to believe in my dream of travelling abroad through some sort of study abroad experience. They all believed in me to gain a rare experience of travelling to a different country for educational enrichment, and that belief and support helped me emotionally and financially. I thank all these departments for always pushing their students to go above and beyond, no matter what challenges an underrepresented and low-income student like myself, faces.