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tv   Viewpoint  NBC  March 13, 2016 5:30am-6:01am EDT

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good sunday morning. welcome to viewpoint. college students are preparing for the annual right of spring. spring break. many are heading to the beaches to soak up the sun and play in the sand and take a break from term papers and preparations for final exams. however a group from howard university are taking part in what they are calling alternative spring break. they are spending their down i'm in communities here and across the country working to make the world a better place. our guests this morning are kayla holloway from new orleans, taylor
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director of the ase program, and brandon slaughter from alabama. welcome all of you to viewpoint. so i assume you all like sunshine and the beach, yet you've chosen to spend your 13ri spring break helping to change lives. tell us why. >> so originally my very first year at howard, i went home for spring break. and be able to go home and see the difference in my mindset and a lot of my friends' mindsets and see how much howard had an impact on that, i started thinking what are things that you can do to help make a positive difference. and so returning sophomore year, i heard about
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break, and several issues that go on are the areas that i'm from, regarding health, poverty, education, lack of jobs, crime. so for me, it was a very personal attachment. and after my experience in memphis, i definitely felt like a changed individual and i said, okay, you have to do more, and so post that, i applied to become a coordinator and now i'm currently set up as student director and i help manage the entire program, everything from finances to the sites that we plan to the things that we did on howard's campus to get the word out about our program. literally any and everything that you can position can think position is responsible for. >> you sort of help pull it all together. brendan, you are studying psychology. you come from a
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arkansas. so how did you get into the program? >> the way i got in was i met mr. vincent through a different organization and the motto of alternative spring break really spoke to me, giving me the opportunity to touch the lives of young men and women as people have touched my life. it was just an opportunity that i just couldn't pass up. the way that we go into these cities and we touch the lives of these young men and women, it's just so eye-open positieye-open. the first time, honestly, i had never been to like the real hood before as some may say. so going in to baltimore, it was such an eye-opening experience. like oh, my god, it's really like this. and these kids were so full of joy despite their situation. and that just warmed my heart and wanted me to
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the community. >> and where you're working is the same neighborhood where the riots took place. >> the church we stayed at was only two blocks from the cvs that was burned out. and seeing that on tv, i was like i was actually there. >> and i said arkansas earlier, it's alabama. so a big difference from there. and kayla, this is your first year into this program and you came into it under a little bit of a different experience. >> this is my first year doing alternative spring break and i'm helping to plan the entire site along with my co-coordinator. so this year, decided to a.s.b. to honor my father. my father was a police officer and he was murdered in the line
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prisoner. so after that happened, it actually happened less than a mile from my house, so just driving home in the city, i would have to pass the scene where my father was code. going home today, there is still a wreath on the pole where his car crashed into. so just after that situation, i was really depressed and i really wanted to run away from my problems. a week after it happened, i did not want to be home at all, i came right back for school after my internship. so while i was in new york, i decided that i shouldn't run away from my problems, and i learned about this program from alexis tucker and i decided to apply for the site coordinator position. i didn't want to run away from my problems anymore, i wanted to help family and friends that were going through similar situations. and so i'm here now. >> all right. we'll continue our talk with the students from
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right after this.
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we're talking about alternative spring break at howard university this morning. and the students have come here and have -- you draw from a very rich experience. but tell us how the program itself works. i understand that there are close to 500 students that get sent to the various sites. how many sites or cities are there? >> there are nine domestic cities. one international city. domestic cities are baltimore, chicago, d.c., detroit, new orleans, newark, memphis, st. louis and this year we will also be going to flint, michigan. and so our coordinators literally start working from the
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year all through the summer and fall semester to pull things together. you know, they have to find places to house the participants, they have to find work sites, they have to find places for them to eat, places for them to shower. and so work isn't just starting within spring semester a few weeks prior to the actual trip. they have been working diligently to make these things happen. we also have a team of people who work to help promote us on social media. we have a team of people to assist in helping us maintain our partnerships and our financial duties. we also have a team of people that work diligently to make sure that we record our numbers and all of work that we did efficiently. >> and so there are nine cities involves. brandon, how are the cities chosen? do you choose them based
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for example she mentioned flint, that's a new site for the program this year and obviously we all know there a big water crisis in that city. >> the flint actual site is a focus on environmental justice due to the water crisis that we all know about. actually, it's very new thing that we're doing, an interfaith group is actually going. so not only christian, but muslims and some hindu students going and i think maybe one or two jewish individuals going. so not only does a.s.b. extend on just a student front, but also we're tackling issues that deal around islamic phobia. and things such as that going to flint. i know the way we select individuals, the process is that individuals submit fliks applic paced off their interests and from that interest we place them in particular sites. >> k,
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orleans. but actually the a.s.b. program was in new orleans before katrina in 2005. >> yes. so we were actually working in new orleans before katrina. our mission back then was education. education has always been a problem in new orleans specifically the public education system. and after katrina, we've stuck with that. so this year, our initiative is education and the prison industrial complex. so we will be going into a -- this high school before hurricane katrina was one of the best and now it's open enrollment and it's gone down. so we'll be talking about know your rights training and helping them with the transition there high school to college. and this year we also added the prison industrial complex. so we will be going for the juvenile system and how the education has faegtsaffected th students. >> that's a big issue right now. so who generally decidfo
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this? about if i were to ask you what kind of student goes to college and decides i want do this kind of work, is there a typical profile? >> i would not say that there a typical profile. we are definitely a very welcoming program and we encourage all of howard students to at least gain an experience with alternative spring break once. something that you'll often find is a lot of students have personal connections to the cities or to the initiatives that we present through our program. our initiatives are chosen based on the issues that reside within the specific city. so a rhyme example for chicago, gun violence, everyone knows that that is a major issue. chicago is high on the ranking list forexample for chicago, gun violence, everyone knows that that is a major issue. chicago is high on the ranking list for cities with excessive crime rights. so that's the work that we do in chicago. so a lot of times working through alternative spring break is an outlet for students who
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emotions regarding things that have happened to them in past experiences. a perfect example would be such as kayla mentioned, her experience with her father passing, her experience living in new orleans was the root that says you've heard about this service program, you've seen the work that is done. you should find a way to participate. because a.s.b. changes lives, a.s.b. brings hope to people, a.s.b. ignites something within them to say i can take all of my experiences, take my stories and help to inspire someone else so that we can, you know, try and combat these problems that tend to be generational within our own communities. >> all right. we'll be right back. stay with us.
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welcome bac
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we're talking about howard university's alternative spring break program this morning. and brandon, you're working in baltimore now. or this spring break. but you've got dreams of spreading your wings and traveling around the world. where do you plan to go? >> i actually am the type of person where i just want to go like where my leadership takes me. i've never been a particular person that says i want to travel here, settle down here. it's wherever the task arrives. so if one day i wake up and i'm inparis, i'll be happy. if i'm in eegypt, i'll be happy. but wherever i go, i want to take these leadership qualities with me. >> and kayla, you have plans. >> i'm going to began in a and ti
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i went to uganda on a leadership trip before howard university. and we went to different clinics and hospitals. and seeing poor people 1sitting for hours and while others who could bribe the doctors being seen right away. so i want to go back and make sure even has equal opportunities. >> that's wonderful. taylor, are you one of the co-director, actually the co-director and you're coordinator in new orleans. but the way your program is set up, yours is a little from the other universities. how does howard's program differ? >> howard's program differs one in our size and the range of people that we reach. as i mentioned earlier, we go to nine cities within the united states and then we have an international site. manyiv
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alternative spring break programs don't go to nearly as many cities. we send 500 students out across the nation to this wonderful service work. and that's a large difference in itself. and then the fact that these students do not have to charge, or they're not charged, they don't have to pay a fee to participate in a.s.b. to become a part of a fruitful program such as this. so any money that they bring is just their own personal spending money. they don't have to pay for meals or a place to sleep or a place, you know, to work. >> so you have sponsors to help to fund the program? >> we have some corporate sponsors and of course we're interested in anyone who wants to spoken nsor our wonderful program. and we have a fundraiser in partnership with
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students lined up across georgia avenue, stopping car, explaining the work that we do and asking for kind donations. we have whur promoting us on the radio and having people come into the station and saying i heard about the work they're doing, here is a kind donation. you have people hearing about the work and saying i'd like to donate. so it's a blessing that we have things like that that come into play to help us do everything that we're trying to do. >> brandon, how would you say the work that you are are doing and trying to do impacts the people that you're working with? how has it changed their lives? >> i think a.s.b. speaks to the person, the individual who doesn't have hope outside of the situation. i think one thing that a.s.b. has done in my life and i've seen it do in other people's lives is it puts things in perspective. like when i go to class, i don't
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myself, i'm going to class for the little kid in baltimore who isn't dream outside of the west side. i'm going to class for the little kid in chicago who all he sees is a brother or sister getting killed. i'm going to class for the individual in new orleans who wakes up every day and has to deal with constant struggle. so it puts it into perspective that no longer are you just individual, but you're carrying the weight of those who you serve. and a.s.b. has put things in perspective for me. >> and kayla, how would you answer? >> i foster a desire to learn. like i talked about the education system in new orleans is terrible. so i want to help the students understand the importance of education and where it can take you. so we'll talk to the students about the importance of education, the transition to college, how to make sure you stay this college. retention rates are ridiculous. so talk about how to graduate on
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go to these colleges. so i want to make sure that they understand the importance of this.to these colleges. so i want to make sure that they understand the importance of this. and a lot of students don't though what hbcus are and the opportunities they bring. so i really feel like i want to talk about why education is important. that's my biggest thing, education. >> all right. a wonderful point will. we have to take a quick break. we'll continue right after this. check out the fresh new look on mcdonald's mcpick 2 menu! try a flaky filet-o-fish made with sustainably sourced fish, a big mac made with 100% beef, chicken mcnuggets made with white meat, or a quarter pounder with cheese seared on the grill. pick any 2 for $5 bucks. ♪ bada ba ba ba
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how would you say the events of your life have impacted you, the way you think now, the way you see the whorld aorld and what y trying to do? >> i would say it definitely starts with my parents. i'm the oldest of six. i have lived in the best neighborhoo neighborho neighborhood, i've listed in the worst. my father and mother stopped their college career because they had me in their early 20s. so they put their career on pause and through their struggles to bring me to where i am today, they have definitely taught me that they don't have to be a product of the environment that you live in, you don't have to be what society says you have to be. a prime example, one year being in memphis, a man comes to me and says i know you have to be rich. and i'm like what makes you think that? and he said the way that you carry yourself, the
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talk. and i said do you know where i'm from? i'm from moonear helena. and he said are you serious is this and i this? and i'm like that's a terrible misconception that you have. so being able to see the different things that i've seen. living in the better places or worst of places allows me to connect with students on all bases and really show people that a.s.b. does not discriminate against where you come from our what your story may be about. >> brandon, is inthat thain th tell other students? >> yeah, i tell him first day kids won't really be open to you, but wednesday is the day where the walls come down. wednesday is the day where the kids finally open up and say, oh, my god, you made it through the first two
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i preach don't open up a kid and leave him open. keep that constant form of communication, whether it's e-mail or giving them your number. >> and finally, kayla, your motto, the program's motto is say open and flexible. >> yes, at any given moment, something can fall through, so you want to have an open mind and be able to work through the problems that you may face. so me planning the new orleans site, i had a school cancel on us literally last week, last wednesday, we got an e-mail early in the morning saying this middle school cooperauldn't worh us. so we just had to contact other schools and come through with the program. >> it's a great life lesson, remain open and flexible. kayla, taylor, brandon, you are wonderful examples for your generation and the generations to come. thank you. ah
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stay with us, news 4 today is next.
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right now on news 4 today, metro transit officers involved in a five car wreck. what we're finding out about the mess on 395. >> i have to do it myself. >> dangerous politics. brawls and a major safety concern as protests lead to havoc at rallies for donald trump. and voters weigh in. marco rubio gets the win, but for the all the delegates. we'll break down the big battle coming up. >> the time is 6:00. it really is. daylight saving time alre

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