Bianca Murillo is a Senior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Psychology and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies while minoring in Latinos Studies. Bianca joined the program her freshman year participating as a trip participant and then as a trip leader the following year for the Mountain Lake Academy trip. Last year, she was the Head Service Learning Chair and helped organize a Groundwater Training by the Racial Equity Institute for the program and community members. This year, Bianca hopes to continue addressing social justice and racial inequity with the work Altbreaks does. Her participation in Altbreaks heavily influenced her passion on social justice leading her to change her career focus to clinical-community psychology. On campus, Bianca works at Temple of Zeus. She also likes to run and attend fitness classes. If you see her around, feel free to say hello!
Lucy Li is a Junior from Queens, NY studying Industrial & Labor Relations and pursuing minors in Fine Arts and Law & Society. This year, she will be serving as the Administrative Chair. She joined Alternative Breaks in her sophomore year as the Trip Leader for Sylvia's Place/New Alternatives and later became a co-Trip Leader for Womankind. Lucy joined Alternative Breaks because of her interests in social inequality and discriminatory practices. She is determined to gain a better understanding of social justice, service-learning, and leadership during her time in the program. Outside of Alternative Breaks, Lucy is also involved with Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Cornell Minds Matter (CMM), and the Guild of Visual Arts (GVA). Besides these activities, she can be seen making art, binge-watching dramas/funny videos, and playing table tennis at Noyes during her free time.
Lauren Schmidt is a Senior from Waterloo, IL studying Government; Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies; and Spanish. She joined Alternative Breaks as a sophomore as a trip participant on the Sylvia’s Place/New Alternatives trip. Last year she was Assistant Service Learning Chair. Now serving as Head Service Learning Chair, she is looking forward to further educating herself and participating in a dialogue about social justice issues that centralizes race. Outside of Alt Breaks, Lauren is also a member of SASSY and enjoys taking photos and playing basketball.
Head NYC Coordinator
Tien Vo is a Senior studying Applied Economics and Management at Dyson School of Business. He joined Alternative Breaks in Fall 2018 and served as a Housing Supervisor for the rest of the academic year before moving on to be a Sub NYC Coordinator in 2019. This year he is coming back as a Head-NYC Coordinator. Tien is passionate to learn more about different social justice issues through the program and dedicated to his work of assisting different trips with risk management and housing logistics. Aside from Alternative Breaks, he is an active member of Cornell Wushu Club, Cornell Vietnamese Association and Cornell Real Estate Club. He enjoys cooking, watching movies, playing basketball, and playing video games
Head Publicity Chair
Makayla Durant is a Senior in the College of Human Ecology, majoring in Human Biology Health and Society, minoring in Global Health and Inequality Studies. She joined Alternative Breaks as a freshman on the Tangelo Park trip and was a Tangelo Park trip leader her second year. Last year she was a Co-Assistant Publicity Chair. This year she will be Head Publicity Chair.Her experience in Alternative Breaks has allowed her to understand the value of service learning and apply such principles to her service efforts on and off campus. Outside of Alternative Breaks, Makayla is Vice President of Programing for the Pre-Medical Minority Mentorship Program, a member of the Global Health Student Advisory Board and a Cornell Tradition Fellow. During her free time she enjoys singing, dancing and being physically active.
GEMS Trip Leader
Ugochukwu Ukponu is from Newark, NJ and she is a Senior studying Human Biology, Health and Society on the pre-med track and double minoring in Global health and Health Equity. She joined Alternative Breaks as a sophomore as a trip participant on the Girls Educational Mentoring Services (GEMS) and is currently the GEMS trip leader. A major highlight for Ugochukwu on her previous Alternative Breaks experience with GEMS was interacting with the community through workshops that involved a Self-Care day and baking. Her career goals include pursuing a medical degree in Emergency Medicine and combining this experience with a career in Global and Public Health that focuses on racial health disparities, especially with Black womxn. Other endeavors include being a part of the Nigerian Students' Association, the P3 program, Cornell's African Dance Repertoire, and S.A.S.S.Y.
Goddard Home Delivered Meals Trip Leader
Manavii Kumar is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying Biology and Society. She was a trip participant for Goddard Home Delivered Meals her freshman year and has been the trip leader ever since then. She joined Alternative Breaks because she was drawn to the unique service-learning aspect of the program which, unlike other service organizations, encourages its participants to learn about the community and the history of the social justice issue before serving the community, making the engagement much more effective and meaningful. She hopes to give the same unforgettable experience she had to other students and raise awareness about issues older adults in our community face. Outside of Alternative Breaks, Manavii is also involved in PCAT, Nazaqat dance team, and is an editor for The Research Paper magazine.
Goddard The Other Place/Green Keepers Trip Leader
Michele Soltsov is a Senior majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior. She is also minoring in Inequality Studies on a Health Equity Track. Michele joined Alternative Breaks as a sophomore and participated on the Goddard TOP/GK trip. After having a meaningful experience with the agencies, she is excited to return to the program as the Trip Leader for Goddard TOP/GK for the second year in a row. She hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the issues of homelessness and mental illness and create more memories with the members. On campus, Michele is also part of the PCAT program, a volunteering service that facilitates interactions between students and patients at Cayuga Medical Center. She hopes to understand the complex dynamics between social justice issues and the medical community. As an aspiring doctor, it is important to understand health disparities in medicine so that we can be aware of our implicit biases and not allow these inequities to perpetuate.
Harlem Grown Trip Leader
Hannah Castelo is a junior from Richmond, VA majoring in Environment & Sustainability as well as International Agriculture and Rural Development. She joined Alternative Spring Breaks as a participant on the Harlem Grown trip in her freshman year. After exploring the social justice issues of food insecurity/food justice and engaging in meaningful service and conversation with the agency she will return this year as the trip leader for the Harlem Grown spring break trip. At Cornell, Hannah is also a member of Epsilon Eta, Cornell's first professional sustainability fraternity, and is an Undergraduate Resident Fellow and active member of the Alice Cook House community on West Campus. In her free time, she enjoys running, swimming, and exploring Ithaca's beautiful hiking trails.
Tangelo Park Trip Leader