Welcome to Alternative Service Break @ UH!

Do you consider yourself an agent of change? Have the belief that all humanity is connected? Or you do you just stress the importance of caring and sharing? If so, Alternative Service Breaks is for you!

Apply Today!

Mission

Alternative Service Break strives to provide students the opportunity to give back and meaningfully serve a community through projects that promote education, reflection, and growth.

What is Alternative Service Break?

Alternative Service Break (ASB) offers students the opportunity to travel during their spring break to perform volunteer work in the region. The program focuses on community involvement service projects that are centered on experiential learning. We hope that through the program, students are able to become immersed in impactful new experiences that allow them to become advocates of social change.

The 2015 – 2016 ASB trips went to New Orleans, LA and Dallas, TX. Hear more about last year’s trip from past Breakers!

Travel, Volunteer, Make a Difference: Make your spring break especially meaningful with our 2017 service trips to Killeen, Lake Murray, and New Orleans!

Variety’s Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children

Killeen, Texas
March 12th –March 16th
Social Issue: Diversity and Inclusion

Do you want to make an impact on the lives of children all the while releasing your inner child? The Texas home of empowerment for special needs children since 1936. Come to Variety to participate and creating memories for kids and serving as their advocate. Spend this service break filled with projects surrounding the retreat experience for the young campers. Projects will include beautification as well as educational and life skills classes, camper involvement, and the Trailblazers Day Camp which is and overnight experience for the campers.

Projects: Archery, ropes course, putt-putt golf, renovating children’s animal area, painting murals for camp cabins, and creating carnival games for our summer camps.

Amenities: Camp housing, bathrooms and meals, with kitchen access, provided.

Participants: 20
Price: $150

Lake Murray State Park

Ardmore, Oklahoma
March 12th – March 15th
Social Issue: Environmental Sustainability

Passionate about nature and the environment? Then beautiful Lake Murray is for you! Right on the border of Texas and Oklahoma, Lake Murray is ‘Oklahoma's first and largest state park consisting of 12,500 acres located on the shores of beautiful Lake Murray. The park's diverse terrain, exceptional trails and historic sites make Lake Murray State Park a favorite destination among outdoor, water sport and ATV riding enthusiasts’. Just 10 miles outside of the City of Ardmore, participants will be able to explore all that south central Oklahoma has to offer once service projects, including, have been completed.

Projects: Trash/cleaning park grounds and shoreline, park restoration

Amenities: Campsite style wooden cabins with beds/mattresses. On-site bathroom facilities and kitchen available.

Participants: 20
Price: $150

City of NOLA

New Orleans, Louisiana
March 12th – March 15th
Social Issue: Environmental Sustainability and Social Welfare

Spend your spring break partnering with the local communities of New Orleans to support the efforts of neighborhood revitalizations with beautification projects in one of the most colorful cities in America! With this service trip, volunteers will also work toward environmental sustainability in the unique region New Orleans encompasses. Challenge yourself with these service projects with enjoying all the New Orleans has to offer. Projects: Urban gardening and/or farming, wetlands restoration and planting, conservation and disaster management projects, park beautification and planting, storm drain clearing, and home restoration and repair.

Amenities: Communal housing and meals provided. On site bathrooms (towels and linens provided).

Participants: 20
Price: $150

Who is involved?

Student Participants
Participants are to be committed, self-motivated, and service minded. Students are expected to take an active role in group discussions, reflections, volunteering, and group tasks (i.e. cooking or cleaning). All participants are required to sign a Trip Agreement to ensure full participation while on the trips. You do not need any previous volunteer experience to be a participant with ASB!

Site Leaders
Site leaders are expected to participate in the volunteering as well as facilitate the participants’ experience. This includes creating, organizing, and leading reflections and/or educational activities. Site leaders are also expected to participate fully in the program - attending all program meetings, trainings, regular meeting with staff leads, and finalizing a post trip transition document.

Staff Leads
Each site will be matched with a professional staff member of the University of Houston who will mentor, collaborate, and assist the student site leaders to execute the Alternative Spring Break trip. Staff leads are equal participants in service and reflections. They co-lead as necessary and represent the University of Houston at all times. They should be prepared to plan certain parts of the trip if asked by the site leader, and should be prepared to assist in the development of their site leaders throughout the process.

How can I get involved?

Students

Find the student participant application on Get Involved today! Applications will be open until February 1st. Applicants will be contacted by February 3rd if they have been selected to attend the trips.

Participants are to attend ASB informational and training sessions. The session dates are listed below:

Wednesday, February 15th 4:00p-5:30p
Location: Space City Room, Student Center South, Second Floor

Thursday, February 23rd 4:00p-5:30p
Location: Heights Room, Student Center South, Second Floor

Thursday, March 2nd 4:00p-5:30p
Location: Heights Room, Student Center South, Second Floor

Site Leaders

Site leaders for the 2017 Service Break trip have already been selected.

Requirements

ASB candidates must:

  1. Be enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, or professional/PHD courses at the University of Houston
  2. Have and maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher
  3. Be in good judicial standing with the University of Houston
  4. Attend ASB training sessions
  5. Commit to abiding to a drug and alcohol free Alternative Service Breaks trip

If you would like more information or have any questions about ASB, please contact us at 832-842-6245 or via email at serve@uh.edu. You are also welcome to come by the Center for Student Involvement located at Student Center North, Room 103.