Our trip to Biloxi was three weeks ago, but what I learned and gained from that trip will be a part of me for the rest of my life. As a senior, I knew this would be my last chance to attend one of FSU’s Alternative Spring Break trips so I was thrilled when I got the call that I would have the opportunity to attend. I have already been involved with so many things on campus and felt like I had established my role as a leader on this campus, but I knew that ASB could teach me more, I just did not realize how life changing it would truly me.
This past year has not been easy at Framingham State. Preparing to graduate, a busy schedule and several problems that I have had to answer too in my various roles have lead to a stressful year. But, after attending the trip to Biloxi I have learned that I am so blessed and have so much to be thankful for. The people of Biloxi faced a disaster. Hurricane Katrina came and destroyed their houses, their land and the place they call home. Yet still they managed to find hope within themselves and face the devastation with positive attitudes. They came together as a community to face the tragedy and overcome it. And while this alone is remarkable the thing that struck me most was the passion they all seemed to have.
We met a man named Marty while we were down in Biloxi. Marty is working on creating a natural shoreline to restore Deer Island. Dear Island is being destroyed by erosion. The roots of trees on the Island are literally exposed up to two feet above the sand until they eventually fall over. Marty explained that Deer Island and other islands like it are helpful barriers in the case of a hurricane. It can help lessen the damage done to the mainland. Marty works with 4 or 5 people on his crew to create an entire shoreline on the island. A project that could take the 30 volunteers from our ASB group one month will take Marty and his crew at least until October. The hardest part is that as they work on this project the waves and weather will tear down some of the work they have done and force them redo many parts of the project before they can move on to the next step. It is a very tedious and intense project, and they have very little help. But Marty stay’s optimistic, passionate and driven. He knows that while it may not be easy, it is important to him. He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t quit, he simply keeps going and keeps the passion alive inside of him.
Marty inspires me more than anyone that I have ever met. No matter where I go or what I do with my life, I hope I can be as passionate and driven as Marty is. There has not been a day since returning home that I have not thought about him and what he has taught me. ASB has made me a better person and has changed my life. The fact that I complain about something as little as having two tests in one day seems selfish and ridiculous to me now. I am so much more grateful for all that I have. This experience has been truly eye-opening and life changing and I know I will continue to do service because ASB has showed me how important it is to give back. I learned more in one week in Biloxi then I have learned in five years at FSU. Biloxi and Marty will hold a special place in my heart for the rest of my life.
Class of 2013