Sponsored by Volunteer Services in the Center for Student Development, the Alternative Breaks (AB) program consists of substance-free, community service trips during select weekends in the Fall and Spring semesters and during the university's spring break. AB participants travel locally, nationally and internationally in teams to different cities, engage in active service, and have the opportunity to gain new perspectives on social issues, and learn about community assets.
Students travel to different communities to work with issues of disaster relief, environmental restoration, HIV/AIDS, education, homelessness, healthcare, poverty and immigration. AB's main goal is to educate participants about the root causes of these issues, while also making an immediate difference in the community.
As a member of the AB team, students can expect the following:
- Strong Direct Service: Each AB trip is focused on a targeted social issue working with trusted community partners on service projects determined by the community need. Our participants engage in direct service hours each (including advocacy and education) during their trips, as well as pre- and post-trip service activities on campus and in the local community.
- Orientation: AB participants are welcomed into a family upon application. Whether you participate in one weekend or all 4 break opportunities, participants can expect to be engaged year-round. Participants will meet prior to the trip to engage in discussions about the AB program and to learn about the trip topic, become acquainted with the activities on the trip, engage in service and begin team-building.
- Education: Each AB trip focuses on targeted social issues and trip leaders arrange educational activities to supplement the direct service conducted during the trip. These educational activities are essential to providing a context for the issue in the location. The intended outcome of these educational activities is not only to relate it to the context on the trip, but also to gain a sense of how the issue is experienced in our home community.
- Reflection: During the trips, students will participate in facilitated reflection discussions on the day’s activities exploring how the topics more in depth. These discussions require participants to think critically about the trip topic by addressing the root causes and looking more closely at issues of power and privilege as it relates to the issue.
- Diversity: The AB program participants are representative of the diversity at Texas Woman's University. We seek to make the trips inclusive and accessible for all students through providing a range of trip options and working to reduce the trip cost through fundraising opportunities.
- Alcohol and Other Drug Free: All participants sign a contract where they agree to adhere to the AB substance-free policy.
Get Involved - apply today!
Alternative Spring Break: January 31 at 11:59 PM.