Alternative Breaks are immersive service-learning experiences that occur over spring break each year. Participants travel around the country as a small cohort of 8-12 students, to work with nonprofits on service projects that meet the real-life needs of the local community. Working with a community partner will pave the way to unlocking your own potential as a leader and advocating for necessary social change. Spend your spring break establishing long-lasting friendships, expanding your self-awareness, and learning what it means to truly serve the needs of a community.

Each Alternative Break trip will be led by two experienced student site leaders and be accompanied by an education partner—a faculty or staff member of the UO. Throughout the week your team will live and work together while participating in daily reflections, including discussion of root causes and establishing a shared vision of positive social change.


2019 Trips at a Glance

Social Issue: Trail maintenance
Location: Oregon backcountry
Dates: March 23–30, 2019
Price: $250
Social Issue: Child development
Location: San Francisco, California
Dates: March 23–30, 2019
Price: $600
Social Issue: Affordable housing and social justice
Location: Selma, Alabama
Dates: March 23–30, 2019
Price: $1,500
Social Issue: Immigration and social justice
Location: Tijuana, Mexico
Dates: March 23–30, 2019
Price: $1,500

Upcoming Trips

Mar 23
Alternative Spring Break 2019: Beyond the Border12:00 a.m.

What are Alternative Breaks? Alternative Breaks are immersive service-learning experiences that occur over academic breaks each year. Participants travel both domestically and...
March 23 12:00 a.m.
Tijuana, Mexico

What are Alternative Breaks? Alternative Breaks are immersive service-learning experiences that occur over academic breaks each year. Participants travel both domestically and internationally as a small cohort to work with nonprofits on service projects that meet the real-life needs of the local community. Throughout the week the cohort will live and work together while participating in daily reflections, including discussion of root causes and establishing a shared vision of positive social change.

Who are we working with? Border Encuentro strives to build connections across borders[WIfLD1] . Participants will have the opportunity to volunteer at the Binational Friendship Garden (garden is half in the US, half in Mexico – families who have been separated gather here to talk through the wall), attend the inauguration of a new telescope that allows individuals to communication via sign language across the wall, attend local music festivals, tour the border wall, and meet Tijuana locals. Participants will stay in Tijuana, and cross into San Diego once during their trip.

 

Price: $1,500

Dates: March 23-30, 2019

Location: San Diego, CA and Tijuana, Mexico

Group Size: 12 – 18 participants

Commitments:


Team Retreat (one of the following dates): February 16th, 17th, 23rd or 24th, 2019
Pre-Departure Orientation: March 23th, 2019


Service Project: Service projects include gardening work, composting, art projects, community education, community outreach, preparing for/attending cultural events, and more.

APPLY HERE → https://oregon.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eW1fvfAA6KTEiXP

Trip Consideration: Valid passport required for all trip participants

Learn more about the Friendship Garden here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38VELfGSxXU



 


Mar 23
Alternative Spring Break 2019: Constructing Community12:00 a.m.

What are Alternative Breaks? Alternative Breaks are immersive service-learning experiences that occur over academic breaks each year. Participants travel both domestically and...
March 23 12:00 a.m.
Selma, Alabama

What are Alternative Breaks? Alternative Breaks are immersive service-learning experiences that occur over academic breaks each year. Participants travel both domestically and internationally as a small cohort to work with nonprofits on service projects that meet the real-life needs of the local community. Throughout the week the cohort will live and work together while participating in daily reflections, including discussion of root causes and establishing a shared vision of positive social change.

Who are we working with? Participants will work with Blackbelt & Central Alabama Housing on housing rehabilitation projects for low-income residents in Selma, Alabama who cannot afford to make improvements to their homes. Participants will stay at a community center and homemade southern meals will be by community members. The community’s host site leader marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, and can provides an excellent overview of the civil rights movement. [WIfLD1] 

Community Partner: Blackbelt & Central Alabama Housing

Price: $1,500

Dates: March 23-30, 2019

Commitments:


Team Retreat (one of the following dates): February 16th, 17th, 23rd or 24th, 2019
Pre-Departure Orientation: March 23th, 2019


Service Project:  Projects can include painting homes, carpentry, installing sheet rock, building ceilings/walls, and much more.

Location: Selma, AL

Group Size:  12 – 18 participants

APPLY HERE → https://oregon.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1BLUFci3tIvmmsl

Mar 23
Alternative Spring Break 2019: Power of Play12:00 a.m.

What are Alternative Breaks? Alternative Breaks are immersive service-learning experiences that occur over academic breaks each year. Participants travel both domestically and...
March 23 12:00 a.m.
San Francisco, CA

What are Alternative Breaks? Alternative Breaks are immersive service-learning experiences that occur over academic breaks each year. Participants travel both domestically and internationally as a small cohort to work with nonprofits on service projects that meet the real-life needs of the local community. Throughout the week the cohort will live and work together while participating in daily reflections, including discussion of root causes and establishing a shared vision of positive social change.

Who are we working with? Engage with Playworks, an organization that strives to give every child the best opportunity possible to do what children do best – play! Alongside children and AmeriCorps volunteers, learn the importance of play firsthand by facilitating impactful experiences that allow kids in the greater San Francisco area to flourish physically, emotionally and socially.

 

Community Partner: Playworks

Price: $600

Dates: March 23-30, 2019

Commitments:


Team Retreat (one of the following dates): February 16th, 17th, 23rd or 24th, 2019
Pre-Departure Orientation: March 23th, 2019


Service Project: Work with Playworks coaches to model a culture of trust, positivity and inclusion on the playground. Facilitate games and activities to empower children to learn the value of fair play and gain life-long critical skills.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Group Size: 10 – 14 participants

APPLY HERE → https://oregon.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bHfO3Sr7fxXZDlr

Application Deadline: November 11th, 2019

Learn more about Playworks here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=56&v=F5BVhJIK5eA

Mar 23
Alternative Spring Break 2019: Trails & Transformations 12:00 a.m.

What are Alternative Breaks? Alternative Breaks are immersive service-learning experiences that occur over academic breaks each year. Participants travel both domestically and...
March 23 12:00 a.m.
Oregon Backcountry

What are Alternative Breaks? Alternative Breaks are immersive service-learning experiences that occur over academic breaks each year. Participants travel both domestically and internationally as a small cohort to work with nonprofits on service projects that meet the real-life needs of the local community. Throughout the week the cohort will live and work together while participating in daily reflections, including discussion of root causes and establishing a shared vision of positive social change.

Who are we working with? Venture into the Oregon backcountry with the Northwest Youth Corps, a nonprofit that seeks to increase access to our state’s natural beauty while instilling values that can only truly be taught through outdoor immersion and collaborative work. Give back to our state with NYC by building trails that build community.

 

Community Partner: Northwest Youth Corps

Price: $250

Dates: March 23-30, 2019

Commitments:


Team Retreat (one of the following days): February 16, 17, 23, or 24, 2019
Pre-Departure Orientation: March 23, 2019
Backcountry expedition: March 24-30, 2019


Service Project: Trail maintenance and trail construction in the Oregon backcountry. Exact location TBA.

Location: Oregon Backcountry

Group size: 10 – 12 participants

Trip Considerations: All backcountry gear will be provided by Northwest Youth Corps. No backpacking experience is required, but participants must be able to hike 5-10 miles/day, carry a 30-60 lb. pack, engage in physical labor for 3-7 hours/day, and be willing to live in a backcountry setting for the duration of the trip.

APPLY HERE → https://oregon.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cVfV5x6XprW0jyJ

Application Deadline: November 11th

Learn more about partner organization here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3sN7-KYyZ8

 

Scholarship Program

We believe you are the leader of tomorrow, and we’re not the only ones. Many generous donors have helped us create scholarships to make sure you have access to opportunities to become the best leader you can be. Cost shouldn’t be a barrier for you developing as a leader and engaging with cultures across the country and the world.

Become a Trip Site Leader

No two Alternative Breaks are the same. Our trip leaders are the foundations for every trip and bring unique perspectives and strengths to guide participants, while learning more about their own leadership styles. As a trip site leader, you will further your own leadership development through facilitating team meetings, researching and preparing materials for participants, and experiencing the trip alongside participants. You will return with marketable skills, new perspectives, and experiences that will guide your future. Think you’re up for the challenge?