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 in Alma Connect.

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

Next Alternative Breaks: October 2022

Application opens September 15.
Click here to apply to Alternative Breaks.

Applications will be accepted until breaks are filled.

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

Alternative Break Description Dates Location

Food Security

with the

Gratiot Community Garden

Greater Lansing Food Bank

Strickler Center, Mt. Pleasant

Support a variety of mid-Michigan partners working to alleviate food insecurity. Expect active outdoor work completing end-of-season maintenance at the community garden as well as indoor tasks sorting donations and assisting with food distributions.


13 - 15


Mt. Pleasant


Environmental Stewardship

with the

Friends of the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail

Participate in trail maintenance on the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail in Gratiot County, including brush trimming and removal. Expect to be active outdoors throughout each day, including walking to and from the project site.


14 - 15


LGBTQ+ Support

with the

Gratiot Gender Affirming Closet

Help sort, wash, and organize donations to the Gender Affirming Closet at Alma College, which provides gender-affirming clothing and accessories to members of the campus and Gratiot community.




Disability Support


Day Dreams Inc. 

Sort donations and organize merchandise at the Day Dreams Resale Shop, which supports vocational and social opportunities for adults with disabilities.

October 15


* All costs for Fall Breaks will be covered by the Alma Venture program. There is no cost to participants.