Posted by: John Chadwick | April 13, 2011

Living Below the Poverty Line in New Jersey

Alternative Break participants taking a break from building a home in New Orleans

In addition to the all the food, fun, and frolic, Rutgers Day is also about good citizenship. Participants can learn about an array of issues, from the environment to bioethics. This year, they can also learn about what it’s like to live below the poverty line in New Jersey.

The Rutgers Alternative Breaks program, a student club, will be providing statistical information about poverty in New Jersey, as well as interactive exercises aimed at putting participants in the shoes of some of the state’s poorest residents.

“You will be put into a situation where you have limited resources, and will have to decide how to spend the available money,” said Joanna Cirillo, a senior, and club president. “For most people, it’s not a position they have ever been in, and it can be a very powerful learning experience.”

The Alternative Breaks program provides undergraduates with an opportunity to travel to a community within the United States to perform community service and explore the local culture. Recent trips have covered Mississippi, Tennessee, and New Orleans.


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