University News

WIU Student Spring Break Trip To Help Others Gets Financial Boost

January 18, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – A Spring Break trip by Western Illinois University students, designed to benefit those in need, received a financial boost this week with the award of a $1,000 grant from Liberty Mutual Insurance.

The Liberty Mutual Responsible Scholars Program awards grant funds to student groups interested in volunteerism and philanthropy. This week Western's Alternative Spring Break Group, a part of the Western's All Volunteer Effort (WAVE), received word that their application had been funded.

This year the student group, made up of two graduate student advisors and nine WIU students, will travel to Macon (GA) to work with Rebuilding Macon. The volunteer organization performs home repair work for those in need and Western students will be building wheelchair ramps and painting houses.

Michelle Harvey, the assistant director of the WIU Office of Student Activities, said the travel group is entirely funded by donations so the grant will aid in paying for this year's March trip.

"The students had to put together an essay application for the grant about how the mission of their trip matches with that of Liberty Mutual, which is 'Helping people live safe, more secure lives,'" Harvey said. "We receive a little money from student fees but the students also fundraise as a group, sending letters to family and friends and holding bake sales on campus."

During Spring Break 2012, the WIU student group traveled to Florida to glean turnip fields and learn about hunger issues and the wasting of food.

"They go where there is a need," Harvey said. "This money will really help with this year's trip."

Students participating in this year's trip include:

Graduate student advisors:
MOLINE, IL: Ariel Edgeworth, graduate student in college student personnel
KLAMATH FALLS (OR): Jodi Santillie, graduate student in college student personnel

Trip leaders:
DEKALB: Liz Peregrine, senior, music
CHICAGO: Shayla Baker, sophomore, family and consumer sciences

SHERRARD: Anna Dahlstrom, sophomore, family and consumer sciences
KINGSTON: Ashley Covington, senior, elementary education
TAYLORVILLE: Elizabeth Nelson, sophomore, pre-business, supply chain management
WORTH: Joe Maluck, junior, law enforcement and justice administration
SPRINGFIELD: Kayleigh Marcotte, junior, pre-elementary education
MARKHAM: Mi'Ca Goldman, senior, psychology
CHICAGO: Monique Meeks, freshman, forensic chemistry

For more information about the student group, visit

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations