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Center for Career and Civic Engagement

Alternative Spring Break - Download the ASB 2015 application today!


What is an Alternative Spring Break? 
Winthrop's Alternative Spring Break program places teams of college students in communities to engage in meaningful service during their spring break.  Students perform short-term projects for community agencies and learn about issues such as literacy, poverty, racism, hunger, homelessness, and the environment.

The objectives of an alternative break program are to involve college students in community-based service projects and to give students opportunities to learn about the problems faced by members of communities with whom they otherwise may have had little or no direct contact. Being completely immersed into diverse environments enables participants to experience, discuss, and understand social issues in a significant way. The intensity of the experience increases the likelihood that participants will transfer the lessons learned on-site back to their own communities even after the alternative break ends.


Get involved through Career & Civic Engagement!
Career and Civic Engagement offers three Alternative Spring Break options each year as a way help you springboard into lifelong active citizenship in our global community.

Winthrop University is a member of Break Away®. Alternative Break Connection, Inc. is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports the development of quality alternative break programs by providing training and information primarily to colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations interested in creating lifelong active citizens through these intensive service-learning programs.

Break Away currently has a network of over 100 chapter schools, more than 400 nonprofit partners, and hundreds of individual members worldwide, through which constituents have access to the newest ideas and a broad range of support in the national alternative break movement.

Who can participate?
Any currently enrolled Winthrop student can participate in an ASB trip. Applications will be available in the fall semester and space is limited. Participants will be selected by the end of fall semester for the spring trip. There will be a few pre-departure meetings and assignments to get you ready for your alternative break experience. 

What is the cost? 
There is a cost associated with each trip that covers transportation, meals and housing and any specific project supplies. Payment in full is due 30 days before trip leaves; payment plans are available. Prices for each trip vary and will be posted when the three sites are officially selected for each year. 

What are some benefits of ASB? 
Read below to hear student feedback on ASB:

  • "Now that I’ve had time to process my week in Pittsburgh I realize that I have gained the following: Faith is strengthened, morale is boosted, a new awareness about how much need surrounds us, and all it takes to make a change is putting one foot in front of another. Spending my spring break volunteering gave me the opportunity to be blessed and be a blessing ... and I don’t think I would have had it any other way."
  • "When I signed up for ASB trip to Tennessee, I didn’t know what to expect. Nothing could have prepared me for the AMAZING week that I was about to spend … the week has been filled with wonderful experiences and great new friends."
  • "I never thought that hard work could be so fun and that 35 people could transform into one big family in only seven days. Contributing individually, we formed something bigger than all of us combined."
  • "We came….as strangers and separate groups, and left a family forever connected through our contribution.

Other benefits include:

  • Have a fun-filled spring break!
  • Visit a different part of the country.
  • Meet students from other universities.
  • Gain leadership skills.
  • Build your resume.
  • Expand your horizons by experiencing a different life perspective.
  • Meet students from other majors on campus.
  • Experience your ASB sites culture and region by doing a fun excursion during your trip.

Be a Student Leader
Trips are led by students (and a faculty/staff member)! To be an ASB Student Leaders, you must have participated in at least one ASB trip, have a 2.5 GPA. Leaders are selected by end of spring semester (for the following year's trip) so an early commitment is necessary! 

Eight components of Alternative Spring Break Experience  

  • Strong Direct Service
  • Orientation
  • Education
  • Training
  • Reflection
  • Reorientation
  • Diversity
  • Alcohol- and drug-free programs
  • Reorientation

How do I apply for ASB? 
Download the ASB 2015 application today!