Alternative Breaks Program
The Center for Social Change and Community Involvement launched the Alternative Break Program as a primary means to promote co-curricular opportunities for civic engagement, social change, and global learning. These programs provide a valuable way to learn from and become immersed in diverse communities and social environments that aim to expand each participant’s understanding of critical social issues and the possibilities for social change. Ranging in length from a one-day to a week-long experience, students are connected to opportunities for direct service and learning through community engagement with integrated dialogue and reflection.
Projects are developed collaboratively by Center staff, student participants, and community partners to engage students with opportunities that support diverse communities while advancing cultural competency and sensitivity. The Alternative Break Programs are also supported by Break Away, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of quality Alternative Break experiences. Our service focuses on strengthening justice through community collaboration while cultivating active citizenship, self-awareness, and critical consciousness
The Center staff and student program leaders develop partnerships, coordinate logistics, and provide training and educational resources to participants in the program. The program incorporates a critical service-learning model built on a foundation of mutually beneficial community-campus partnerships by integrating educational components with service work and reflection activities to foster personal growth and leadership development through community projects, education sessions, and team-building exercises.
This program is open to undergraduate students at L&C who offer insightful, engaging, and passionate intentions for community involvement. Participants are expected to attend all pre-trip and post-trip meetings, work as a team to organize fundraisers, and apply their service experience to other local involvement opportunities and critical discussions.
Current & Upcoming Alternative Break Programs
Alternative Spring Break is an eight-day, seven-night immersive service-learning trip to Puerto Rico where a team of 12 students will participate in volunteer projects focused on conservation and community resilience as guided by community partners. This experience is designed to be a hands-on opportunity for Lewis & Clark College undergraduate students to learn more about themselves, others, and the world around them by engaging with diverse communities and collaborating on projects that perpetuate positive social change.
Meet the 2023 Alternative Breaks Program Participants!