The mission of the University of North Texas' Alternative Breaks Program is to raise awareness of social issues and injustices through education and intensive service learning experiences. With the goal of promoting service on the local and national, students are immersed in communities that will bring to the forefront social awareness and inspire lifelong action and friendships.
Alternative Breaks provide a variety of low cost, week long and weekend service opportunities. There is no more powerful service experience than when students are fully immersed in new communities and social issues. These opportunities not only contribute to a deeper understanding of social issues, service and community, but are often the sparks which ignite people to get involved in community service.
The Alternative Service Breaks (ASB) program is designed to promote and encourage group community service projects among UNT students. For the 2015-2016 school year, ASB will be recruiting participants for 12 spring break service projects, March 12-18, 2016.
What is Alternative Service Breaks?
Sponsored by the Center for Leadership & Service, the Alternative Service Breaks program consist of substance-free, community service-learning trips during select weekends in the Fall and Spring semesters and during the university's winter and spring break. ASB participants travel in teams to different cities, engage in active service, and have the opportunity to gain new perspectives on social issues while meeting community needs, and learning about and building upon community assets.
The Alternative Service Breaks are life changing! Many participants return year after year with Alternative Breaks and get involved in local leadership and service initiatives. Each service break connects students with learning about and engaging in a specific social issue, volunteering and connecting with a small team of UNT students and staff. Students travel to different communities to work with issues of disaster relief, environmental restoration, education, homelessness, healthcare, poverty and immigration. ASB'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 ASB team, students can expect the following:
- Strong Direct Service: Each ASB trip is focused on a targeted social issue working with trusted community partners on service projects determined by the community need. All participants engage in direct service hours during their trips.
- Orientation: ASB participants are welcomed into a family upon application. Participants will meet prior to the trip to engage in discussions about the ASB 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 ASB trip focuses on targeted social issues and trip leaders arrange educational activities to supplement the direct service conducted during the trip.
- Reflection: During the trips, students will participate in facilitated reflection discussions on the day’s activities exploring how the topics more in depth.
- Diversity: The ASB program participants are representative of the diversity UNT. We seek to make the trips inclusive and accessible for all students through providing a range of trip options.
- Alcohol and Other Drug Free: All participants agree to adhere to the ASB substance-free policy.
Who can participate in Alternative Service Breaks?
- Participants must be UNT students during the time of the Alternative Service Break.
- ASB participants must be in good conduct standing with the University of North Texas and have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA.
- Participants commit to abiding by the alcohol and drug free Alternative Service Breaks policy.
Applicants are encouraged to attend an information session to learn more about Alternative Spring Break.
- Thursday, October 1 @ 5pm - TBD
- Wednesday, October 7 @ 6pm - TBD
- Tuesday, October 13 @ 5pm - TBD
Interviews & Selection
All participants will be contacted for an interview by site leaders. Interviews will be held 10/26-11/5.
All applicants will be notified of their status by November 10, 2015
The fees for alternative breaks cover transportation, lodging, and a food budget for each trip. Trips cost $100-$250 for the week.
- December 4, 2015 - $100 non-refundable deposit due.
- February 5, 2016 - Spring Break - non-refundable remainder payment due.
- September 4: Site Leader Applications
- September 7-11: Site Leader Interviews
- September 18: Advisor Applications Due
- September 18-20: Site Leader Retreat
- October 1: ASB Information Session @ 5pm STUB Lounge*
- October 1 or 2: Site Leader training session
- October 7: ASB Information Session @ 6pm STUB Lounge*
- October 13: ASB Information Session @ 5pm STUB Lounge*
- October 15 or 16: Site Leader Training
- October 21: ASB Participant Applications due online
- October 26-5: ASB Interviews
- October 29 or 30: Site Leader Training
- November 10: Participant Notified
- November 12 or 13: Site Leader training session
- November 17: ASB Pep Rally
- December 4: $100 non-refundable deposit due
- January: ASB Kick-Off
- February 5: ASB non-refundable payment due
- February 5: Site Leader training
- February 11 or 12: Site Leader Training
- February 18 or 19: Site Leader training
- March 3 or 4: Site Leader Training
- March 12-18: Alternative Spring Break
- March 30: ASB Reflection Ceremony
*Applicants are encouraged to attend an information session to learn more about Alternative Spring Break.
The 2015-2016 Alternative Spring Break trips are:
Health & Disabilities:
“Camp Rock!” - Camp Summit – Argyle, TX
Camp Summit is a great get-away for special needs children and adults to help grow independence and enhance skills for life. Be a counselor and work one-on-one building unforgettable relationships with some great campers! Lodging will be provided at the camp. Cost: $25 http://www.campsummittx.org/
“Buildin’ in the Bayou!” –St. Bernard’s Project – New Orleans, LA (Greek Life Trip)
Help repave the way for families who were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Not only will you be helping to rebuild homes, but you will help rebuild lives. Lodging will be provided at a church. Cost: $200 http://www.stbernardproject.org/
“Extreme Home Makeover – UNT Edition!” – Common Ground – New Orleans, LA
Come help rebuild the heart of Louisiana after the destruction from Hurricane Katrina. This trip will include rebuilding homes and a greater sense of hope in this once vibrant city. Looking for hard working students ready to make some change! Lodging will be provided by the organization. Cost: $250 http://www.commongroundrelief.org/
Poverty and Homelessness:
“No One Knows Food Like Memphis!” - Memphis Food Bank – Memphis, TN
Take a bite into this great trip centered on fighting hunger in America. Volunteer with the Memphis Food Bank in this swinging city overflowing with music and culture. You will join as an advocate in this fight by helping distribute food to families in Tennessee. Lodging will be provided at a church. Cost: $250 http://www.midsouthfoodbank.org/
“Homeless, not Hopeless!” – SAMMinistries – San Antonio, TX
Give hope back to the homeless citizens of San Antonio. When you volunteer with SAMMinistries, you are helping give a fresh start to individuals and families. On this trip you will help combat poverty and homelessness. Lodging will be provided at a church. Cost: $200 http://www.samm.org/
Animals & Environment:
"Puppies, and Kittens, and Eagles…Oh My!” – Collierville Animal Shelter– Memphis, TN
Calling all animal lovers! Help this Safe Haven rescue the homeless animals that live within Memphis. Bathe, walk, brush, and show care for animals that were saved from abuse, abandonment, or death. Your dedication and attention to these animals will start them on a new path to hopefully becoming a future pet! Lodging will be provided at a church. Cost: $250 http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/TN167.html
“Big Cats, Big Fun!” -Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge- Eureka Springs, AR
Come to the beautiful Ozark Mountains to help protect rescued exotic animals at a Wildlife Refuge. On this trip, you will help build and habitats for tigers, lions, panthers, and other large cats that need homes. These cats will purrrrrr with excitement at the homes you create for them! Lodging will be provided at a retreat center. Please note that although you will see the big cats, there is not direct interaction. Cost: $200 http://www.turpentinecreek.org/
“We Mean Green Clean!” – Galveston Bay Foundation – Galveston, TX
Jump into this great trip to help restore the Galveston Bay. You will work on restoring the natural habitat, protect shorelines, and improve the overall water quality for animals. Requires a hard-working student ready to get to work on a big problem that certainly needs attention! Lodging will be provided at a church. Cost: $200 http://www.galvbay.org/
“Planting UNT Green in New Orleans” – Hike for KaTREEna – New Orleans, LA
Jump into this great trip to help restore the environment damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Over 100,000 trees were lost due to damage done by the hurricane. You will work on restoring the natural habitat. Lodging will be provided at a church. Cost: $250 http://www.hikeforkatreena.com/
Youth & Children:
“Kid’s Count” –Ouachita Children’s Center - Hot Springs, Arkansas
Ouachita Children’s Center is looking for compassionate volunteers to help homeless, at-risk youth. With open doors and open hearts, you can help Ouachita build a bridge from homelessness to opportunity. Lodging will be provided at a church. Cost: $250 - http://www.occnet.org/
“Chillin’ with the Children!” - Cherokee Nation – Tahlequah, OK
Follow the trail to Oklahoma to work alongside the Head-start program and perform volunteer service with kids. You will be engaging in a rich and historic culture that will be worth your while! Lodging will be provided at a church. Cost: $200 http://www.cherokee.org/
Education and Culture:
“Freedom is not Free.” - Freedom Foundation – Selma, Alabama (Sponsored with the Multicultural Center- Open to any students)
Learn about the history of the Freedom Ride and the Civil Rights movement, and experience the impact today through service and education. The Freedom Foundation’s mission is to CULTIVATE (develop, enlighten, educate, train, refine, advocate for, encourage, help, aid, and assist) THE NEXT GENERATION through programs and services that inspire and equip them to reach their full potential. Lodging will be provided at a church Cost: $200 http://freedomfoundation.org/
The fees for Alternative Spring Break trips range froom $25-$250. Payments are in installments December 4, 2015 and February 5, 2016.
- Applications for Spring Break are due on October 21, 2015.
For more information about Alternative Spring Break, Contact the Center for Leadership & Service at www.leadandserve.unt.edu or 940-565-3021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Site Leader Information
For the 2015-2016 school year, ASB will be recruiting site leaders for 12 spring break service projects on March 12-18, 2016.
The issues we will be working with include: health and disabilities, disaster relief, poverty and homelessness, animals, environment, education and culture, and youth.
We are seeking 20 dedicated site leaders that can help organize and construct a spring break trip that makes a difference! Site Leaders must commit to attending site leader training and building a strong community amongst their participants.
The Role of a Site Leader
This is a great leadership experience for students who would like to gain more skills working with groups. Before the trip, Site Leaders are responsible for helping to select participants, conducting pre-trip meetings, organizing itineraries and travel logistics, and keeping participants informed. During the trip, Site Leaders work with their Trip Advisors to collaborate with the host site coordinators, mobilize participants, plan meals, trouble-shoot any problems, and facilitate reflection activities each day of service.
Ideal candidates are passionate about service, effective at motivating and organizing teams, are very organized and have a positive attitude. If you see yourself in this role, please apply! Two site leaders will be selected and work as partners on each trip, with one staff advisor.
Site Leaders are strongly encouraged to select a diverse group of participants. This ASB experience is not meant to be a trip of all of your friends. Your significant other is not allowed to participate in the same trip as you. The $100 - non-refundable deposit due December 4. The remaining non-refundable funds are due February 5, 2016. Site Leader fees are the same as participant fees for all trips. Only Site Leaders who pass the driver authorization process will be hired to drive vans during spring break. Site Leader trainings and participant events are mandatory. Site Leaders who miss more than 1 meeting may be terminated from their position. ASB participants must be in good conduct standing with the University of North Texas and have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA.
Mandatory Site Leader Dates:
Site Leaders hold a very important role. As a result it is important that ALL site leaders be able to attend the following dates for training:
Site Leader Application Due
- September 4: Site Leader Application Due
Site Leader Interviews
- September 7-11: Site Leader Interview
Site Leader Retreat
- September 18-20: Site Leader Retreat
Site Leader Training
- October 1 - 5pm - 6pm or October 2- 12pm - 1pm
- October 15 - 5pm - 6pm or October 16 - 12pm - 1pm
- October 29 - 5pm - 6pm or October 30 1 - 12pm - 1pm
- November 12 - 5pm - 6pm or November 13 - 12pm - 1pm
- February 5- Van Training
- February 11 - 5pm - 6pm or February 12 - 12pm - 1pm
- February 18 - 5pm - 6pm or February 19 - 12pm - 1pm
You must attend one of the trainings listed for each bi-weekly spot
- November 17 - ASB Pep Rally
- January 26 - ASB Kick Off
- March 30 - ASB Reflection Ceremony
Do you want a chance to make a difference with a group of college students? Are you eager to build relationships with students while impacting the community?
We are seeking 12 UNT staff members to serve as advisors in the Alternative Spring Break Program. Alternative Spring Break is a unique opportunity for students to spend their spring break (March 12-18, 2016) volunteering together in a community outside the local area. These amazing, immersive experiences allow students, staff, and community members to truly work together, as well as, make an incredible difference in a week and build relationships that last a life time!
Last year, the Center for Leadership & Service offered 13 spring break trips and 1 alternative winter break trip serving in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana volunteering with various topics.
The Role of an Advisor
The role of the advisor is to empower the student Site Leaders and team to create an incredible experience. Students apply and are selected in October, and meet until spring break. Training is provided and there is no cost to participate.
If you want to spend a week with an amazing group of students! Please consider joining us for Alternative Spring Break. There is a brief application to complete so we can match advisors with trips.Apply to serve as an Advisor