Academics

Alternative Breaks

Our Mission

Alma College Alternative Breaks provide transformative opportunities through direct, hands-on service, education, and reflection that seeks to meet the needs of our local, national, and global community.

No matter what your interest is, there is an Alternative Break opportunity for you.

Alternative Breaks allow students to spend time doing service work while traveling outside the community. This may involve providing childcare in a homeless shelter or being involved in disaster relief efforts. Whatever you’re doing, you’ll have fun while reflecting on what is important to you in life.

What is Alternative Break like?

Most service teams include 8 to 12 people, except when partnering with agencies that provide bus transportation and encourage larger groups of volunteers. Each team has a staff advisor and student leaders. Prior to departure, the entire team meets regularly to better understand what to expect on the trip.

Not surprisingly, Alternative Break opportunities have been well received by Alma College students and staff. The program has grown from a single trip of 20 participants in 2003 to over 100 participants each academic year.

In addition to learning about social issues, Alternative Break participants experience the local culture at their destination. Each service opportunity includes time to sight see, enjoy a local restaurant, or relax with friends. Alternative Breaks encourages full engagement through living and eating simply, limiting technology and being alcohol- and drug-free. Curious about what Alternative Break is like? Ask one of the student leaders listed below.

Multiple Alternative Break opportunities are offered to students during academic breaks. These service experiences are available at affordable costs for travel, room and board.

2022 Breaks between Winter and Spring Terms: April 24-30

Application opens Tuesday, March 22 at 7:30am. Click here to apply to April 2022 Alternative Breaks!

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until filled. Once offered a spot, payment of the student participation fee secures your seat on the trip.

Serve and connect with fellow students who share an interest in one of the following topics:

Alternative Break Description Cost* Location

Disaster Relief with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance in TX & LA

April 24-30

Help with rebuilding in response to Hurricane Laura. Projects are located in Lake Charles, Louisiana and Orange, Texas

 

Student Participation Fee: $300

Remaining cost (Venture-eligible): $630

Louisiana and Texas

Environmental Stewardship in Joshua Tree National Park

April 24-30

Volunteers will work on outdoor maintenance and clean up projects, such as roadside brush maintenance.

Student Participation Fee: $300

Remaining cost (Venture-eligible): $630

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Local: Environmental Education at Forest Hill Nature Area

April 25-29

Learn to be a Nature Guide, then lead groups of K-6 students on nature hikes. 

Student Participation Fee: $0

Gratiot County, MI

Local: LGBTQ+ Support with the Gratiot Gender Affirming Closet

April 26

Help the Gender Affirming Closet organize donations, and other related projects in Mid-Michigan. 

Student Participation Fee: $0

Mid-Michigan

Local: Food Security with the Gratiot Community Garden

April 27-28 (dates tentative)

Work with community and campus partners to help prepare the garden for a new growing season.

Student Participation Fee: $0

Alma, MI

Local: Community Clean Up on “I Love My City Sunday” 

Sunday, May 1

Help with a variety of cleanup and beautification projects throughout the City of St. Louis, MI. 

Student Participation Fee: $0

St. Louis, MI

* Cost includes transportation, accommodation, and meals.