A Strategic Final Spring Break

The Final Spring BreakSunset in Navarre, Florida

It’s hard to believe that this is my last spring break (ever!) before I enter the workforce. Spring break always comes at the most-needed time to me; we’re in the heat of our coursework and need a moment to catch our breath before finishing the semester strong. I’m trying to see the silver lining by thinking about how I also won’t have another week-before-spring-break kind of week filled to the brink with tests and papers due.

Since I’m from Virginia, in years past I’ve taken the opportunity to visit my family over spring break. My freshman year we took a trip to ski in Utah, which was incredible, and since then I’ve always gone home to relax and spend time with my family and friends.

This year is different. There is the added stress of finding a job or internship, as well as the emotional aspect of the last opportunity to go on an adventure with all of my Auburn friends. I haven’t been home all semester, so I knew I had the goal of spending time with my family, but I also wanted to take advantage of the chance to go on a trip and make memories with my sweet friends.

One for the Books

I decided to combine the two and split my time between home and a condo in Navarre, Florida. For the first half of the week, I’ll fly home to Virginia to be with my family. For the second half, a group of my best friends and I will travel to Navarre and have some fun in the sun.

Downtown Leesburg, VirginiaHome Sweet Home

My goal for spring break is to settle my mind and enjoy the people around me. More specifically, my objective for the first half of my trip is to spend those four days catching up with my family and friends. I also hope to prepare for the end of the semester and my next chapter of life.

My strategy for my time at home is to be productive while my parents are at work. To implement this strategy, I will spend a few hours each day sprucing up my resume and applying for internships and job. I will work ahead on papers for my classes that will ease my workload when I return to Auburn. I will also devote quiet time to study my Bible and pray about the upcoming changes after graduation. When my parents come home for the night or weekend, I will clear my that time to visit, cook and relax with them.

Fun in the Sun

My objective for my time at the beach is to spend three days relaxing and creating memories with my friends. It breaks my heart to think that we may never all be in the same place like this again. I want to treasure this trip and make the most of it.

I plan to enjoy my friends through time on the beach during the day and relaxing fun at night. My tactic is to spend the majority of the day Thursday, Friday and Saturday catching rays. We will cook together in the condo or go to a dinner after we’ve had enough sun and worked up an appetite. There will be plenty of board games and movies at night, as well as Bible study and prayer.

my friendsWith my friends, we can only plan to be surprised, so I am prepared to be flexible and go with the flow if things change. Even if it rains, I know we will just enjoy spending time together away from homework, jobs and future stress.

I am hoping to make this the best spring break yet and to treasure every moment. It will be a great reminder to breathe and soak up the next few weeks before I leave Auburn. I have been so blessed with loving family and friends. To me, that is the most precious way to spend free time, diving deeper into those relationships and re-focusing on my walk with the Lord.

A PR guide to your best Valentine’s Day

red roses

Love is in the air, and whether you’re planning a relaxed movie night with your friends or going on an extravagant dinner date, Valentine’s Day is a process. Like public relations, a little planning up front will ensure a smooth and enjoyable holiday.

Define the situation

The first step in the process is a situational analysis. Consider your objectives for Valentine’s Day and your target publics. Are you hoping to spend time with a group of friends, family members or a special someone? Do you imagine a casual evening or something on the fancier side? What have you done for Valentine’s Day in years past? What are your peers doing for Valentine’s Day?

Dig around and research any events going on nearby or special menus at your favorite restaurants. Think outside the box and consider concerts, day trips and outdoor activities if the weather will be nice.

If you want to surprise your date, talk to their friends or look on their Pinterest accounts to see if there’s something special you can do or give them that would make the evening one to remember.


Next, map out your plans. Make reservations if you’re going to dinner; restaurants tend to be extremely busy around Valentine’s Day, so also be open to celebrating a few days before or after the holiday. Calculate travel time and possible expenses like gas, a card, flowers and a new outfit.

Consider your strategy for the evening, are you hoping to reconnect with friends? Are you looking forward a special night to celebrate a relationship? Are you working to start a new relationship? The answers to these questions will help you form a goal for the evening.

It’s also important to think about the other person’s expectations and goals for the evening. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to put others before yourself, so think about what would make their night extraordinary. If you’re in a relationship, think about special memories and things you have experienced together in the past, and tie those into your date in a thoughtful way.

Valentine’s doesn’t have to mean spending your entire paycheck either. Thoughtfulness and genuine care for the other person means so much more than the amount you spend.


It’s time! Implement your plans by keeping your goals in mind, but understanding that there may be a few adjustments needed. Don’t forget to iron your clothes and tidy up your house if you plan on spending time there.

Be flexible and enjoy your time with the people around you. Remember that Valentine’s Day is so much more than just a night for couples, chocolate and flowers; it’s a time to stop and appreciate the different forms of love around you. Take time to reach out to your family members, your neighbors and your friends to let them know how much you appreciate their care.


In PR, evaluation is needed during and after a campaign. Valentine’s Day is no different! Throughout the night evaluate your choices of venue, activities and people you’re spending time with. After the holiday, consider what went well and what you would’ve changed. These results will help you in planning ahead for next year, when you can start the process all over again. Remember to continue spreading the love year round!

Social Media Release: Jones Valley Teaching Farm

This is a fictional release created for a university course. It is not an official release from Jones Valley Teaching Farm.

Jones Valley Teaching Farm Launch Event on Jan. 15 in Auburn, Alabama


Jones Valley Teaching Farm is partnering with Auburn City Schools to host an event to mark the launch of their Good School Food program in Auburn, Alabama, on Jan. 15. The event will be held from 6-10 p.m. at the new Downtown Farm facility at 203 N. College St. There will be fresh produce for sale grown at the Downtown Farm with proceeds going towards the Good School Food initiative in Auburn;  local vendors selling food; live music from performer Grant Frazier; face painting for children; and a silent auction.


Jones Valley Teaching Farm, or JVTF, was born in 2007 when one city block turned into Birmingham’s first urban farm. The farm’s founders wanted to make the community a healthier place and provide nutritious, organic produce in local markets. In 2011, the focus of the non-profit shifted to education. JVTF partners with public schools through their Good School Foods program to teach students critical thinking skills, creativity and the value of nutrition through hands-on learning experiences at school farms. Their mission is to empower the next generation to live healthier and be change agents in their communities. The launch of the program in Auburn marks the first satellite city for JVTF, headquartered in Birmingham.

  • JVTF will host an event on Jan. 15 from 6-10 p.m. in Auburn, Alabama, at the Downtown Farm, 203 N. College St.
  • 5 JVTF Farm Fellows will sell produce grown at the Auburn Downtown Farm.
  • 8 local food vendors will be selling meals featuring locally grown fruits and vegetables.
  • Grant Frazier of Purcellville, Virginia, will perform live music throughout the event.
  • There will be staff on-hand to paint children’s faces with plant designs.
  • At 8 p.m. there will be a silent auction for a year’s worth of fresh produce from JVTF farms in Auburn.
  • JVTF Executive Director Amanda Storey and Good School Food Director Zoe Burgess will be in attendance.
  • Auburn City Schools Superintendent Karen DeLano will be in attendance.

“I can’t believe how this has blessed our community,” said Karen DeLano, superintendent of Auburn City Schools. “Jones Valley Teaching Farms is a monumental addition to the education of our community’s children. This event will be an exciting mark for a new chapter for Auburn City Schools.”

“We want to show the Auburn community how they will literally reap the fruits of this program’s labor,” said Amanda Storey, Jones Valley Teaching Farm executive director. “By teaching Auburn children the value of nutrition and experimental learning, this community will flourish. There’s nowhere else we’d rather start our first satellite program, and the event will be an incredible way to introduce ourselves to the people of Auburn.”


Students in Oliver Elementary's Farm Lab






Photo: Jones Valley Teaching Farm Facebook


Downtown Farm in Auburn

Photo: Jones Valley Teaching Farm Instagram


Here’s a glimpse of how the Good School Food program works.


Website: http://jvtf.org/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jonesvalleyteachingfarm/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jonesvalleyteachingfarm/

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/jvtf


Rita Means, Program Coordinator, (333) 333-3333, rita@jvtf.com

Zoe Burgess, Good School Food Director, (333) 333-3334, zoe@jvtf.com