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Alternative Spring Break

The Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program places teams of Drexel students in communities to engage in community service and experiential learning during spring break. The objectives of the ASB program are to involve students in community-based service projects that address critical needs facing our local and national communities. 

Campus Engagement, in collaboration with the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, will offer five ASB experiences for students to participate in during their 2017 spring break.

How to Apply

Participant applications closed on December 10, 2016. Check back in the fall for 2018 opportunities.

2017 Alternative Spring Break Experiences

Please note: Costs listed below are based on the maximum number of participants for each experience. Therefore, the price could fluctuate slightly depending on the number of participants as well as any pre-experience fundraising your team decides to do. 

Focus: Immigration
Community Partner: The Aquinas Center
Dates: March 26–March 31
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Cost: $150

The Aquinas Center located in South Philadelphia is a community center that focuses on the social issue of immigration through values of hospitality, responsiveness, solidarity, and transformation. If you are interested in an urban immersive experience that incorporates service learning through meaningful volunteering, advocacy discussions, and community reflections, this is the ASB for you. This ASB will take place Sunday, March 26–Friday, March 31. All participants will stay at the Aquinas Center and travel around the city serving in the community at homeless centers, food banks, and community gardens while listening to stories of undocumented immigrants and learning about pressing immigrant advocacy topics. View more information about the Aquinas Center. Cost for this ASB covers all program fees, food and accommodations at the Aquinas Center during the week.

Focus: Housing
Community Partner: Rebuilding Together Philadelphia (RTP)
Dates: March 30–April 2
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Cost: $100

RTP improves the homes and lives of low-income homeowners and their families by using a Block Build approach for an immediate impact on their health and safety. Would you like to be a part of their very hands-on mission and approach by helping with critical home repairs over part of your spring break? You will be joining other Drexel and Penn students to meet community members, work side-by-side, and complete very impactful home repairs that you do not need any prior skills to complete. This ASB will take place Thursday, March 30 – Sunday, April 2 and will involve full days of active, hands-on service within one block of a nearby low-income Philadelphia community. One of the most rewarding parts of this ASB is that you will be able to see the immediate, positive impact your hard work has made on homeowners in just a few days on a Block Build. Also, the last day of your ASB (April 2) is designated for Drexel volunteers, so you will be able to work alongside a number of other Drexel students and staff. View more information on RTP. Program cost covers all program fees and food during the four days. Participants will stay at their own on- or off-campus housing. 

Focus: Hunger and Homelessness
Community Partner: Broad Street Ministry 
Dates: March 27–March 31
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Cost: $150

Founded in 2005, Broad Street Ministry is a nonprofit organization that extends radical hospitality to all. Broad Street Ministry provides services and activities designed to build trust, foster community, and alleviate the suffering of Philadelphia neighbors facing homelessness, hunger, and deep poverty. During this ASB participants will serve the community on-site through Broad Street Ministry's Breaking Bread program as well as throughout Philadelphia, partnering with organizations and engaging in service and education focused on eliminating hunger and homelessness. This ASB will run from Monday, March 27–Friday, March, 31. Cost covers program fees, food, and housing accommodations at Broad Street Ministry during the week.

Focus: Disaster Relief 
Community Partner: Next Step STORM
Dates: March 26–April 2
Location: Denham Springs, LA
Cost: $400

In August 2016 floods hit Denham Springs (Baton Rouge area) in Louisiana. It is estimated that 90 percent of the community of Denham Springs was flooded during a 10-day period and was declared a federal disaster area. With much of the nation's attention toward the flooding from Hurricane Matthew a few months later, Denham Springs is still in dire need of relief. This ASB will partner with Next Step STORM, which responds to the critical needs of storm-ravaged communities through the cleanup and rebuilding of homes. This ASB will take place from Saturday, March 25–Sunday, April 2 and include hands-on physical labor as well as education and reflection to learn about the needs and social issues this community faces. Cost covers roundtrip flight to and from Louisiana, transportation in Louisiana, program fees, food and accommodations at Next Step STORM during the week. 

Focus: Homelessness
Community Partner: Christ in the City 
Dates: March 26–April 2
Location: Denver, CO
Cost: $400

Partnering with Christ in the City, a Catholic nonprofit dedicated to forming missionaries, volunteers and communities in knowing, loving and serving the poor, participants on this ASB will be serving people experiencing homelessness in downtown Denver. The week will be spent serving both within homeless shelters as well as throughout downtown on 16th Street Mall, Capitol Hill or the Platte River. Participants will engage in education surrounding homelessness, spirituality, and Catholic social teaching as well as participate in daily Catholic practices and sacraments. Although this trip is centered around Catholic teachings and practices, students of all faiths and spirituality are welcome to participate. Cost covers roundtrip flight to and from Denver, transportation in Denver, program fees, food and accommodations with Christ in the City during the week. 

Quotes from participants …

"The thing I liked most about the trip was that I was able to give back to the community, while I could have been at home, sleeping in my warm bed. Instead, I got up before 7:00 a.m. every day and worked for seven hours … and got to do it with my new friends. And I know I was helping the city. It was heart-warming and rewarding."

"I learned basic knowledge about building and all the work that goes into one house. I also learned teamwork and how much a few extra hands can impact the progress of a project exponentially. I learned that we are all humans, and despite our views, it is our civic duty to look out for and help each other."

"I learned that one person can do a lot for their community, but when people come together with similar goals for their community, they can do wonders."

"Although everyone may not have the same experience that I did, ASB is a life-changing experience. Walking away from it, I have gained new friends, new skills, and a new understanding of a different lifestyle."

"This is a great program that every college student should do. I believe students will become more responsible citizens after they do ASB."

"This was one of the best experiences of my life and I would recommend it to anyone! I'll definitely be signing up again and may even organize a trip of my own."

For More Information

If you have questions about ASB, please contact Danielle DeWeese at dnd39@drexel.edu or 215.895.6646.