Arielle Martin, BS’17, is using her Kelley School of Business education to make a meaningful difference in communities in the U.S.
Martin is a leader of the Alternative Break Program (ABP), a Kelley Institute for Social Impact organization that provides opportunities for students to travel domestically and abroad to tackle social issues. The service trips take place during academic breaks, including Spring Break, Winter Break and Thanksgiving break.
Martin talks about her ABP experience, including trips to New York City and Clearwater, Fla.
“At a young age, my parents instilled in me the importance of giving back and serving others. The Alternative Break Program allows me to take my passion for service to places all over the country.
“The first trip that caught my eye was a service trip during Spring Break to New York City to work with those facing hunger and homelessness. My dad focuses on homelessness in Northwest Indiana. Being able to use what I learned from him and take it to New York City was awesome.
“It was an incredible experience. We prepared food and delivered it to people who were too ill to come out of their houses. We also worked with children whose families were experiencing homelessness. We helped them with their homework and tutored them. It was amazing to see their gratitude.
“I had a great experience on my first trip, so I decided to be a site leader the next year. I was selected to lead the Junior Achievement Education and Financial Literacy trip to Clearwater, Fla. My group taught third-graders about financial topics, including taxes and loans. It’s important for them to understand these topics, so they will manage their finances when they grow up.”
“This year I became the vice president of site leaders. I oversee the site leaders who are planning nine trips. It’s been a great—and challenging—experience. It’s one thing to plan and lead your own trip, and another thing to make sure other people are doing it.
“We go to diverse areas that are not like our own communities. Then we can find tools to bring back and use in Bloomington and our hometowns. We don’t just go on a weeklong trip and that’s the end of it. We talk about what we’ve learned and how we can implement change.”
“I’ve been helped so much in my life. I want to do as much as I can to help others.”
Arielle Martin is a senior at the Kelley School of Business majoring in economic consulting.