Hunter Whitten is a senior studying building science from Hackleburg, AL. He is the President of Alternative Student Breaks, the Vice-President of Internal Affairs for the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction Ambassadors, and a part-time employee at the College of Science and Mathematics Outreach office.
Why did you choose Auburn?
I chose Auburn because it felt like home to me. My senior year of high school I applied, and I then came to SGA’s High School Leadership Conference in January. I absolutely fell in love with this campus, the Auburn Family and everything to do with Auburn.
What is the mission of Alternative Student Breaks?
The mission of Alternative Student Breaks is to engage Auburn University students in an affordable, substance free experiential service learning project that encourages an understanding of pressing social issues in a significant way.
How did you decide to get involved with ASB?
My sophomore year of high school my hometown of Hackleburg, AL was hit by an EF5 tornado on the afternoon of April 27, 2011. It was one of the largest tornadoes to ever hit the state of Alabama and it left Hackleburg in shambles. The following day there were strangers from all over the southeast in my town of 1,200 people who were simply there to assist. The willingness to serve at a moments notice that these strangers displayed really affected my life in a positive way. As soon as I came to Auburn I began to look for a way to get involved helping others and to have the opportunity to travel at the same time. ASB fit that bill perfectly. I walked down the concourse and saw a billboard with ASB’s logo on it and immediately applied for my first trip.
What is your favorite memory you’ve made with ASB?
I have been fortunate enough to go on 4 ASB trips including Atlantic City, NJ, Moore, OK, Hendersonville, NC, and La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Each and every trip has been extremely rewarding in its own way. From seeing the Big Apple and Washington D.C., to being on a roof in the dead of winter in Oklahoma, to playing soccer with kids in Costa Rica, I have so many great memories from my time with ASB. My favorite, however, is from my trip to Costa Rica this past Spring Break. I formed an instant bond with the little boy shown in the picture above whose name is Miguel. Even though he and I didn’t speak the same language, we laughed and played soccer until we were rolling on the grass in the middle of the makeshift soccer field that the school had. I was able to take a step back from the “busy” life that I think I have here in Auburn and truly appreciate the moment that I was in. The only word that Miguel could say in English was my name, but we were still having the time of our life and in that moment I was, and am, very thankful for ASB because it gives Auburn students the opportunity to experience things that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
What will you take away from ASB after your time at Auburn?
I will take many things away from ASB once my time in Auburn has ended. ASB has taught me professional skills that will affect my career the rest of my life. I have also made countless friends through ASB who will be lifelong friends even after I leave Auburn. The main thing that I will take away from ASB is my love for helping others. 30 years from now I can see myself working with a non-profit housing organization to help people who aren’t able to help themselves and the skills I have learned from going on trips and from being on ASB’s exec have prepared me for that
What is your favorite thing about Auburn?
My favorite thing about Auburn is the people. I LOVE Auburn and the people that I have met here have changed my life forever. I am a big fan of being on the concourse and interacting with students who are from all different parts of the world. Auburn has given me opportunities I would have never had otherwise and for that I am eternally thankful for this university.
Written by Hayley Wright
Last modified: 11/08/2016