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CVSA Makes History on Alternative Spring Break

Students never make anything great happen anymore, or so they say. Having the privilege to accompany the 14 other students, staff and an alumni to the beautiful island of Cape Verde it has become clear to me students still have power on campus to make things happen. Even on an international trip over spring break.

The Cape Verdean Student Association has made history happen at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with the leadership of its vice president, Leanne Neves and the CVSA staff advisor Sidonio D Ferreira.

The trip came as a result of tireless grant writing, proposal writing, coordinating, a fundraising dinner at Cesária, a restaurant in Boston and a raffle.

All efforts put into preparing for the trip by students was complimented with the hard work of Umass alum Sueley Neves who completed the ground work in Cape Verde. She scheduled meetings with the chancellor and vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Verde, amongst other things.

The primary aim of the aim of the trip was to work with the University of Cape Verde in establishing an exchange program between the two institutions. As a result of the presentations and conversations we were able to have with the chancellor, vice-chancellor and key professors the exchange program looks more like a viable reality in the coming future.

This trip was wholly envisioned and made possible by the hard work of students with the generous help of faculty. So it goes without saying where people envision and plan the university can provide the tools to make anything a reality.

For students like Kristen Alves, the trip was an amazing opportunity to re-connect with her Cape Verdean roots. Something she says would have been close to impossible without this trip. For others like myself the trip allowed the opportunity to see a country from an insider’s perspective rather than a tourist’s superficial scope.

Through the generous donations of the UMass community, including a large grant from Office of Programs Services for ALANA Students (OPSAS), the trip was made possible to UMASS students. To keep the University up to date with the amazing experiences and transformations that occurred during the trip the group will have a presentation at a date that is to be announced.

Elizabeth Asefa – Website Reporter