Center for Student Leadership & Community Engagement

University Life & Services | Leading the Experience

University Life & Services


Alternative Break Programs

Photo: Alternative Break volunteers

Alternative break programs engage students in experiential learning through community service and volunteerism during their fall (Thanksgiving), winter or spring break. The projects the students participate with address issues such as poverty, homelessness, hunger, literacy, HIV/AIDS, education and the environment. The objective of the Alternative Breaks program is to involve students in service projects to learn about the problems of a community they would typically not know about. The goal is for students to take the intensity of the program/experience and transfer the lessons learned to their own community upon their return. We hope students learn how they can become agents of change, make a difference in their community and lead a life of active citizenship.

Each Alternative Break trip will have between 8 and 15 participants, 2 student Team Leaders and 2 Staff Advisors. The cost for the trips range from $250 up to $1600 depending on the trip and the flight costs. Students will have their flights booked together and will travel as a group to their specified destination with the Staff Advisors.

For information about the Alternative Break program, please email our office.

2014-2015 Alternative Break Trips

Alternative Winter Break - Environmental Sustainability in the Louisiana Wetlands (Jan 18-24)

Participants of this trip will travel to the Louisiana wetlands to discover the beauty of the bayou and the rich and vibrant culture of those that call it home. The group will learn about the cultural and ecological history of southern Louisiana and complete community service projects that will increase the long-term sustainability of this important region. (Estimated Trip Cost - $900)

Alternative Spring Break - Children's Enrichment on the Pine Ridge Reservation (March 15-21)

Participants on this trip will partner with the Red Cloud Indian School and the Lakota Children's Enrichment Organization to work with the Oglala Lakota Nation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. Pine Ridge is a community that the United Nations has called one of the most marginalized and historically wronged indigenous communities in the world, a dubious distinction for a community located in the heartland of the world's richest nation. (Estimated Trip Cost - $1000)

Alternative Spring Break - Give Where You Live in Buffalo, NY (March 16-20)

While staying in Buffalo, students participating in this trip will explore a variety of social issues affecting the Buffalo area. Students will volunteer with various community organizations and get a broader sense of the city. It is our hope that students will be left with an appreciation of our city and a passion to continue to volunteer and make change in our own backyard. (Estimated Trip Cost - $200)

Alternative Fall Break - Working with Refugees in Cleveland, OH (Nov 26-30) - Closed

Participants of this trip will be working with the Cleveland Leadership Center. Cleveland Leadership Center is the premier center in the Cleveland community for building and engaging civic leadership capital. They offer a variety of civic leadership programs and engagement opportunities designed to foster civic responsibility; create a culture of leadership that is inclusive, collaborative, and progressive; and make a dynamic impact on the community. The focus of this trip will be working with refugees. (Estimated Trip Cost - $350)

Alternative Spring Break - Habitat for Humanity in Charlottesville, VA (March 15-21) - Closed

Volunteers on this trip will work with the international non-profit Habitat for Humanity to provide affordable housing for families in need. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville was founded in 1991 and works to create simple, decent, affordable housing in partnership with low-income families, volunteers and the communities of greater Charlottesville. Over the past two decades, this affiliate has built homes in partnership with more than 100 local low-income families. (Estimated Trip Cost - $300)

Alternative Spring Break - Educational Programs in the Dominican Republic (March 14-21) - Closed

Working with Outreach360, students will help teach English to the kids in Santiago, DR. Students will live out Outreach 360's vision (to transform the world in which every child is able to pursue a college degree or to be gainfully employed upon reaching adulthood, enabling them to live a life of choice) while learning about the history of the Dominican Republic, exploring the culture and discuss what it really means to "make change" happen in a community. (Estimated Trip Cost - $1500)

Center for Student Leadership & Community Engagement, Student Life | 235 Student Union | University at Buffalo | Buffalo, NY 14260 | Phone: (716) 645-6469 | Fax: (716) 645-2163 | Associate Director: Ms. Phyllis Floro | E-Mail