​If you’ve completely written off today’s younger generation as spoiled and self-absorbed, you should know that there are at least a dozen college kids in Greensboro who don’t fit that bill.

This spring break, while their friends are in Fort Lauderdale playing beer pong and bailing their frat brothers and sorority sisters out of jail, 12 local college students will be committing acts of kindness and service in Guilford County as part of the United Way of Greater Greensboro’s “Alternative Spring Break” experience – a program that puts this group to work while other students are partying.

“It’s a little bit different than your typical spring break,” said Lauren Forbis, the marketing and communications manager for the United Way, in a big understatement.

Next week, the volunteers will be doing things like sorting donations at BackPack Beginnings and The Salvation Army Thrift Store, pouring a concrete slab for a bus shelter and spreading the word in downtown Greensboro about the United Way’s 2-1-1 referral and information line.

But it won’t be all work for the students.  According to Forbis, in return for their efforts, they’ll get “behind the scenes” visits to Greensboro businesses and attractions and will rub elbows with City of Greensboro leadership.  Forbis said the students will also do things like meet up with downtown developer Andy Zimmerman as well as other major players in the city.  They’ll also attend special events at the Center for Creative Leadership and the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

This is the second year the United Way in Greensboro has offered the program.

“Last year was the first year we did it and it was really well received,” Forbis said.

The local college students – from UNCG, GTCC and NCA&TSU – were selected through a competitive application process.