A Different Kind of Spring Break

A group of students stayed at Tufts and spent time in nearby communities during their Jumbo Spring Break

For some, spring break means beaches and other travel. But for students taking part in the inaugural Jumbo Spring Break, their week off from classes was filled with volunteering in the Greater Boston community, exploring professional opportunities and building connections in industry, government, and nonprofit sectors, and making new friendships with fellow Jumbos. 

Among the events were a visit with City of Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn, an afternoon of working with nonprofit organization Environment America, a three-day Habitat for Humanity build in nearby Malden, and a bowling night at Sacco’s Bowl Haven in Davis Square, Somerville.

“The big focuses of the week are on civic engagement and on being a part of the community outside of Tufts. We as students should be actively engaged and involved with all that’s happening around us,” said Lenka Smiljanic, A27, a student co-coordinator of Jumbo Spring Break alongside Julian Chun, A24. “We wanted to make this week fun and exciting and also worthwhile and in service of a bigger purpose.”

For some who participated in Jumbo Spring Break, it was their first opportunity to spend a significant amount of time in the local cities around Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus. “Many of us are very new to the community, including myself, and we hadn’t been able to fully experience the area, so it’s been cool to be able to do that this week,” said Smiljanic.

Collage of photos with students walking in the corridors of Medford City Hall.

Photos: Alonso Nichols

On City Hall Business

Jumbos head to City Hall in Medford to meet the mayor and learn about the mayor’s experience of civic life.
Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn stands at the front of a room, with students seated in front of her.

Photo: Alonso Nichols

Meet the Mayor

Breanna Lungo-Koehn, mayor of Medford, shares her experiences starting in politics as a young city councilor with Tufts undergraduate students and staff in a Q&A at Medford City Hall during Jumbo Spring Break.
Collage of two photos, one with a man sitting at a desk with a student, and the other him at a large table talking to many students seated around the table.

Photos: Alonso Nichols

Learning the Ropes

Jumbo Spring Break heads to the offices of Environment America and MASSPIRG to meet with John Rumpler, A88, and learn about his work as an organizer and advocate dealing with local and national government for environmental sustainability and accountability.
Collage of photos of students working on a housing construction site.

Photos: Alonso Nichols

At the Construction Site

Spring breakers roll up their sleeves to help build Habitat for Humanity residences for families in Malden, Massachusetts.
View of a bowling alley, with several people bowling.

Photo: Jenna Schad

Looking for a Strike

The Jumbo Spring Break group hits the lanes at Sacco’s after their hard work.
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