How ASB Immersion Changed Me

How ASB Immersion Changed Me

I learned more than I ever did in 12 years of education

Through the cold, tremendously stressed depths of my first spring semester, I found myself yearning for a new adventure. No matter where it was or what it involved, I knew it had to involve service and thus, an impact on society as a whole. At Rollins College, the Immersion program is designed to quite literally "immerse" students in an educative and service-based experience to impact a specific sector of struggle within the world currently. I had applied to four different types of Immersions, all focusing on different, but fundamental, human rights. The Women's Rights Immersion in Philadelphia was on its way (as I had gotten accepted to it), and I knew this would be the beginning of a brand new perspective on the world for me.

Prior to this experience, I had five main thoughts going through my head:

1. Why am I going to a cold city during SPRING BREAK???

2. Can I handle a trip with 15 people I don't even know?

3. I have three midterms the day before I leave.

4. I'm excited to leave this state.

5. What will I learn?

What will I learn. What will I learn. What will I learn.

Before anything, I tried to walk into this Immersion with an open mind, and open heart, and a full luggage-three important characteristics of any immersive experience.

As I got off the plane, my instant reaction was "Wow, this place was really cold." When we reached Philadelphia, the mandatory sight seeing expeditions occurred. This included the Liberty Bell, the Observatory, the copied Declaration of Independence, and Reading Terminal Market. I walked around the city, and was instantly warmed by the love every person living in Philadelphia had to offer. It was like walking in a place I genuinly felt at home, and most importantly a placed of kindness. Individuals were hugging each other in celebration of St.Patrick's Day and sharing food with those who were homeless. We were all happy, in the company of one another. It was in that moment I truly understood what it meant to live in the city of brotherly love, and thus, I felt so warm despite the cold weather for the first time in my life.

Moreover, the service had begun. As a group of fifteen people, we chose to volunteer at three prime locations. The first, was a women's shelter dedicated to individuals who are survivors of domestic violence. Our purpose as volunteers was to be able to make life a bit easier for them, by doing chores, organizing, and cleaning for the location that housed these survivors. Following, we attended a "Women in Transition" workshop, dedicated to understanding and educating ourselves on how difficult the process is for women to transition from a place of danger (where domestic violence occurs) to a place of safety (in which they can recover and build a new life). Afterwards, a political advocacy workshop was conducted to understand domestic violence on the policy level, and help reinforce the need for individuals to get involved on a community level. To top it all off, we volunteered at a homeless shelter on the final day of the Immersion. At the shelter, we replaced ceiling tiles, cleaned the interior of the shelter, and fed the homeless lunch (that same lunch, was consumed by the volunteers themselves).

I learned more in this Immersion than I ever have in the past 12 years of school.

I saw first hand, what it meant to have a home. And I don't just mean an actual shelter, but a person or an organization that can be relied on for help and for actual safety. Moreover, I have never felt more lucky to be alive at this time in my life. It was like walking into another world categorized by individuals who are trying to survive, whereas the rest of society is spending time worrying about minor things (such as, what outfit to wear the next day). It is the 21st century, and the basic human rights of people are being threatened to this day. It was for this reason, that this Immersion propelled me into the direction of my own future.

I want to be a Human Rights Lawyer.

I want to protect the human rights of individuals who don't have a voice, and whose are being silenced by the powerful capitalistic top one percent of the country. Above all, I want to be the person that protects, defends, and radically changes what it means to be alive. I want to be able to give a real home to those struggling to find one. And for it all- all I wish is the satisfaction that someone, anyone at there, is going to sleep feeling better because of what I did for them.

Cover Image Credit: Liberty Surgical

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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'Culling' The Bullsh*t; Taking A Deeper Look At The Antibiotics In The Livestock Industry

You want the truth? Here it is.


As many people have seen around the internet, one of the hot topics is having cattle or other livestock antibiotic free. This has lead to a movement that is not only incorrect with their basic information, but they are hurting family farms across the nation. This stems from the idea that antibiotics contaminate meat products and will affect the consumer. In this article the main points that "justify" the antibiotic culture will be broken down and simplified. I hope by the end of reading this you will be more knowledgeable about this subject, and will make the best decision for you and your family.

1. "If you don't specifically buy antibiotic free meat, you will buy meat with antibiotics in it."

The FDA has control check on the processing line when livestock is processed. This means that the likelihood of any "antibiotic filled" animal to make it through is slim to none. If by chance a ranch or feedlot gets flagged by FDA, they will be fined with a bill in the thousands. This type of flag will make it difficult for that ranch to ever sell livestock in the normal market again. This is only one of the incentives for ranch owners to stay in the clear.

2. "Antibiotics are used to promote growth"

This statement is false. Antibiotics are used to treat an illness. Yes an animal might gain weight after treatment. But that is because when we are sick we tend to not eat as much. Once you start to feel better, it stirs up your hunger. Antibiotics are and have never been used to promote growth.

3. What happens to the animal on an antibiotic free farm when it gets sick.

Let's do a comparison example. If your child got sick what do you normally do? Take them to the doctor and if he prescribes a medication for them you would provide the correct amount to treat the illness. This is the same way with the livestock industry. Most antibiotics and medication in general are a prescription based. Therefore, a vet will need to sign off on the treatment of the animals. While most ranches will treat the illness and move on, antibiotic free farms need to move that animal off site to another ranch. Some of the time they have a secondary place where those treated animals go to live out their life. Not treating a sick animal is inhumane.

These are only a few of the antibiotic free lies that surround the livestock world. And I am not saying for someone to completely change their beliefs over one article, what I am saying is do your research. From both sides of the argument. Then base your final decision from what you have learned. The agriculture industry has many that oppose that will use fear-tactics to push their agenda. And although we are not a perfect industry, we are a very important part of society. And we hold high standards for ourselves because of that.

Thank you for reading,

if you have a suggestion of what I should talk about next leave a comment.

-Chrystal B.

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