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Honors Alternative Spring Break 19- Whiteriver, AZ

Raised toward our $1,345 Goal
14 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on February 18, at 11:59 PM MST
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Honors Alternative Spring Break 19- Whiteriver, AZ

​Help send U of A Honors students on a service-learning trip during spring break! This March we will be travelling to the White Mountain Apache Reservation in northeastern Arizona. While on the reservation we will be volunteering our time on a native-run community farm, planting crops, pulling weeds, putting up fences, and all the while learning more about the disparities that exist on the reservations and the issues that come with indigenous food sovereignty.

Whiteriver 2019 is:

Victoria Howard

Victoria Howard is a second-year student at the University of Arizona Honors College. She is double majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology and natural resources with an emphasis on wildlife conservation and management. With a love for the outdoors and a curiosity for how the natural world functions, Victoria is passionate about issues surrounding the environment, including climate change, sustainability, and wildlife conservation, and restoration. She is an active member in multiple clubs, including the UA Environmental Awareness Society (ENVAS), Ecological Restoration Club, and Hall Council in Árbol de la Vida residence hall. Through ENVAS and Restoration Club, she has participated in multiple conservation and environmental education volunteering events. This is her second year going on the honors alternative spring break trip to Whiteriver. Through this year's trip, she hopes to expand the knowledge she gained last year about sustainable agricultural practices, food sovereignty in Native American communities, and explore new cultural perspectives. 

I can't wait to experience Whiteriver all over again with a new group of people!

Christopher Dziadosz

Originally hailing from Detroit, Michigan and a proud resident of Tucson, Arizona, the return to the collegiate experience at the University of Arizona has been the best and most satisfying chapter in the lengthy narrative of my life. I am currently studying Anthropology and American Indian Studies as a member of the class of 2020, primarily focusing on the rich and varied cultures of the American Southwest. Many have contributed to the journey I have taken thus far and I am committed to returning the favor through acts of service and kindness.

Mya Cisneros

Hello, my name is Mya Cisneros and I am currently a freshman at the University of Arizona. I am majoring in biochemistry and anthropology, and minoring in critical languages (I am currently learning Tagalog so hopefully by the end of the semester I will be trilingual). I plan on going to medical school after receiving a bachelors degree in both the science and arts, and as of right now I am leaning towards becoming a surgeon in emergency medicine. I am the first in my family to attend college, and I am also the first to have a high school diploma. There have been a multitude of new experiences I have had this year, and I am especially eager to add the HASB trip to this list of experiences. 

My goal for this trip is to better understand the customs of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and to get a new understanding of what it means to be Native American in the modern world. 

Jessy Forelli

Jessy is a junior at the U of A studying biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, and Spanish with a concentration in Portuguese. She has been heavily involved in Honors during her undergraduate career, starting off in Honors Student Council and eventually serving as an RA in Árbol de la Vida, one of the two honors dorms on campus. She is very thankful for her Honors education as it has provided her countless opportunities to learn, grow, and reexamine the world as she knows it, and she hopes her service in Whiteriver will be no different. In her free time, Jessy likes to tumble, go to football games, thrift, and go swimming with her dogs, friends, and family back home in New Jersey! During her time in Whiteriver, Jessy will be learning about food sovereignty by working with native people. She has several goals for both her time in Honors Alternative Spring Break and beyond. First, she wants to understand and appreciate the differences between Native American and her own culture as she is very grateful for the privilege to spend time on the reservation. She hopes that through her experience she will be able to learn about the complexities surrounding food sovereignty and gain exposure on ways to ensure everyone has access to healthy, affordable food. Upon returning, Jessy wants to apply what she has learned and pursue a Master’s of Public Health to ensure that everyone has the ability to lead a healthy lifestyle on their own terms.

Sam Whitthorne

Sam is a freshman double majoring in History and PPEL (Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law). He is a member of the UofA Mock Trial team and plans on pursuing a law degree. He is fascinated by topics like food scarcity and agricultural history, and is excited that he gets to be a part of the 2019 Whiteriver service trip.

Althea Reichert

My name is Althea Reichert and I am originally from Bozeman, Montana. I am a freshman in the Honors College at the University of Arizona and I am undecided about what I am going to study but I am interested in Pre-Med, Political Science, Public Health, and Arabic. In the future I think that I would like to work in international health and development. On campus I am active in the Planned Parenthood student group, a global health project, as well as singing in choir. Additionally, I am passionate about playing the guitar and piano, being active outdoors, and experiencing new places and cultures.

Gabrielle Russell

Hello! My name is Gabrielle Russell and I am a freshman here at the University of Arizona. I’m studying microbiology. I am so excited to have the opportunity to go on this trip to Whiteriver, Arizona. On campus I am an Honors College Ambassador, a member of the club Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS), and an active sister is the Sigma Alpha professional agricultural sorority. I am thrilled to experience all this trip has to offer through learning about the indigenous cultures of the area to growing close to my peers on the trip. This experience will be unparalleled, but it isn’t possible without the support of our community and the Honors College. I am grateful for being selected and am looking forward to spring break!


What is HASB?

Honors Alternative Spring Break (HASB) is an organization that gives students like us the opportunity to engage in service-learning during our spring break. In HASB, we travel to a community, where we work with a partner organization to accomplish specific goals and improve the local area. Many students from past trips have commented that the experience is rewarding, eye-opening, even life-altering - one past trip leader was inspired to change his major to try to help reservation lands like the White Mountain Apache retain their independence.

Sowing spinach seeds alongside Native American farm leader Clayton.

​Why our trip?

​The Whiteriver trip, centered around indigenous food sovereignty, will take us to the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Northern Arizona. We will learn about indigenous food sovereignty by working at the People's Farm on the reservation, interacting with students from the tribe's schools and engaging with and hearing from tribal leaders. 

Whiteriver 2018 participants transplanting tomato starts inside a greenhouse to protect them from frost.


​Indigenous food sovereignty is the principle that indigenous communities have the right to produce healthy, culturally adapted foods to maintain their food security. While indigenous food sovereignty is the focus of the trip, we will also explore important topics related to public health, Native American rights and agriculture.  

The 2018 Whiteriver crew assembling a fence to protect crops from wild animals.

Learn more about the White Mountain Apache reservation and history here:

​Learn more about the People's Farm here:​ 

Thank you,

HASB Whiteriver 2019

​Check in with us after our trip to learn more about what your support helped us accomplish!

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Pickin' Up Lunch

One meal for a participant.


Fuel for Workshops

Three meals for one student volunteer.


Road Trip!

Gas that gets volunteers 167 miles closer to Whiteriver.


Feed a Wildcat!

Four days' worth of meals for one Honors student.


Ready to Go!

Fully fund one trip participant.


Pay it Forward

Cover the cost of the educational experiences for all volunteers.

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