Spring break students receive robust CPD experience

Image of students at museum
College students from Minnesota volunteered at the CPD and various other locations for their spring break.

For the third year in a row, students from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University in central Minnesota have come to Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities for an Alternative Break Experience (ABE). The CPD is one of several locations from which students can choose to offer their service during the break, rather than trading ice and snow for warmer, sunnier locales.

“These kids could have done anything else for their spring break,” said CPD volunteer coordinator Jeff Sheen, “but they chose to pile into a van and drive 23 hours to Logan, Utah to do service."

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CPD by the numbers

Students from the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University drove more than 1,200 miles (one way) to provide, collectively, more than 400 hours of service to the CPD.

Commentary: Reach out to people with disabilities

Forty years ago in many major U.S. cities, a person with an obvious physical disability could be fined up to $50 simply for leaving home.

The Chicago Municipal Code included this ordinance: “No person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated or in any way deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object or improper person to be allowed in or on the public ways or other public places in this city, or shall therein or thereon expose himself to public view, under a penalty of not less than one dollar nor more than fifty dollars for each offense.” (Wikipedia)

The difference between the past, the present and the future is, literally, a few moments. We are all only a single moment away from a car accident, a stroke, a chromosomal anomaly at conception that could leave any one of us with a permanent disability.

But in that singular moment, is the change so profound that we can no longer be called a person, but become instead an unsightly or disgusting object? Surely we retain our inherent worth as human beings who breathe and think and feel, even if our physical bodies may not work the way they used to.

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