Teamwork key for Phillips as ASB president

ASB added 13 more trips since Spring Break 2012.

Caleb Phillips said his trip down to Charleston, S.C., during his sophomore year made quite an impression on him. He said he made 11 amazing new friends and felt a passion for working with disabled children.

The trip was part of Alternative Spring Break, a program that gives students at MU the opportunity to spend their spring breaks not by sun-drenched beaches, but by giving their time to volunteer around the country.

When Phillips ventured to Charleston, ASB offered 17 trips with 190 participants, according to their website. During the most recent spring break, 39 trips were offered with 480 participants.

In 2012, Phillips became president of the organization, while ASB continued to grow.

“Going into the president role, I had a small idea of what it would be like,” Phillips said. “I soon learned it had its challenges that I had to work through and grow through.”

During Phillips’ tenure, the organization and what it offers has grown exponentially. In 2012, there were a total of 525 students applying for a spot on one of 26 trips. In one year, the number of applicants more than doubled, reaching a total of 1,054 hoping to land a spot on one of 39 trips.

While planning for the 2013 spring break, Phillips and the ASB Executive Committee knew there was room for growth.

“If there were students that wanted to serve with Mizzou ASB, we wanted to give them the opportunity to serve,” Phillips said.

Despite the expansion, the large number of applicants for 2013 meant that more than half of the students who applied had to be turned down.

“It’s exciting for us, but at the same time it’s hard because we’re trying to grow as fast as we can, and there’s this passion for service,” Phillips said. “It was a challenge for us because we couldn’t give everyone that opportunity.”

Phillips and the Executive Board also restructured the way they fundraise and work with the logistics, an integral part of sending almost 500 students to locations all across the U.S.

To get the necessary transformation, ASB cleared Enterprise Rent-a-Car lots in Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa and Kansas. Fundraising was also restructured, and ASB managed to raise over $158,000 for trip expenses.

Members on the ASB Executive Board played enormous roles in the expansion of the organization as well.

ASB Vice President Chelsea Tossing restructured ASB retreats and education programs. ASB Expansion Chairman Luke Moore expanded the international ASB trip to the Dominican Republic from ten to 30 students.

ASB Marketing Chair Trevor Peters was largely responsible for the large number of applicants. And ASB Logistics Chair Michelle Fiesta was key in keeping the participants and site leaders running smoothly.

“I am so proud and humbled to be on such an amazing team because we were able to together accomplish so many great things and really grow Mizzou ASB and improve the education aspect of it,” Phillips said.

Phillips, who will be stepping down from his role as president at the end of the semester, is helping transition the ASB Executive Board into a Board of Directors, catering to the new needs of the organization.

Two years from now, Phillips said the goal is to have at least 1,000 students go on some sort of trip and become the biggest ASB program in the nation. MU’s ASB program is currently fourth.

Still, ASB remains a part of Phillips’ life and college experience, shaping him in ways he said he never could have imagined.

“I’ve learned and grown so much from site leading and being on the Executive Board, and it’s fostered a passion for service in me that I foresee as being a large part of my life for the rest of my life,” Phillips said.

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