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.

2013-2014 Alternative Break Trips

Alternative Fall Break - Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief in New York City (Nov 27- Dec 1)

Participants of this trip will be working with the volunteer organization, New York Cares. New York Cares was founded in the 1980's by a group of people who wanted to take action against serious social issues that faced New York City. New York Cares is now the city's largest volunteer organization, running volunteer programs for 1,300 nonprofits, city agencies, and public schools. It has now been almost a year since Hurricane Sandy arrived in New York City and, while the storm has passed and the flood waters have receded, New York Cares continues to mobilize volunteers to meet the still-pressing needs of affected communities. (Estimated Trip Cost - $300)

Alternative Winter Break - Environmental Sustainability in the Louisiana Wetlands (Jan 4-11)

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 - $800)

Alternative Spring Break - Give Where You Live in Buffalo, NY (March 16-22)

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 Spring Break - Habitat for Humanity in Charlottesville, VA (March 16-22)

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. Participants of this trip will also be encouraged to reflect on how gender impacts our daily experiences from volunteering to academics to our personal lives. (Estimated Trip Cost - $300)

Alternative Spring Break - Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief in Little Ferry, New Jersey (March 16-22)

Participants of this trip will work with Project 195, an eco/humanitarian organization that educates the public on sustainability as well as performs humanitarian relief around the United States. Over the past four years Project 195 has organized and led several community clean ups, held public forums on water conservation, filmed a television show about green tips around the home, and has assisted thousands in Joplin, Missouri; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and New Orleans, Louisiana. (Estimated Trip Cost - $400)

Alternative Spring Break - Educational Programs in the Dominican Republic (March 15-22)

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 discussing what it really means to "make change" happen in a community. (Estimated Trip Cost - $1500)

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

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