UC Berkeley Alternative Breaks
Alternative Breaks is a service-learning program for students to explore social issues through meaningful service, education, and reflection during their academic breaks. The Alternative Breaks (AB) program aims to: train Break Leaders with the knowledge and skills to lead their peers in memorable, safe, and fun breaks; strengthen partnerships with communities where breaks take place; sustain service education in DeCals (seminars facilitated by trip leaders) and apply the justice lens of the service trip social issues to local (Bay Area) contexts; and create trips are open to students from all income levels. This student-led program offers the opportunity for growth from Participant to Break Leader to Director. As trip participants, students take a semester-long DeCal to learn about their trip's issues before embarking on the trip. Break leaders are past participants that return to the program to facilitate the DeCal, and plan and lead the trip. The student directors manage program-wide projects, such as finances, to ensure that the Decals and trips are safe, fun, and successful. This unique feature provides students with the foundation to continue on a pathway of peace and service-work after the trips end. Please make a gift to make this experience as affordable as possible for all of our students!
All donations will go towards student and trip leader stipends to make our trip fees accessible to students from all backgrounds. Please make a gift today to ensure that we can send as many students as possible on these life-changing trips. We currently are able to offer a few student stipends, but are at our limit and cannot meet the financial needs of many of our participants. Our trips currently cost $200/student with a $150 fundraising requirement that is meant to hone students' skills in asking for donations and spreading awareness as well as lessen trip fees that need to be paid out of pocket. This covers food, housing , and transportation for an entire week.
The work of our program directly impacts the perspectives and actions of our students and the communities we serve. Each year, we have about 180 student participants across our spring and winter break trips, many of whom Alternative Breaks marks their first experience of what working in social justice entails. For this upcoming year, the program offers 2 winter break trips and 8 spring break trips. During these weeklong trips, students contribute at least 40 hours of service to their community. It is our vision that their experience will empower and inspire them to continue working in social justice and serve these communities in a long-term, authentic way. Make a gift today to help Alternative Breaks ensure that our students are able to participate - and please help us spread the word by sharing.
Trips offered this year:
Magnolia Project - New Orleans (winter)
Food Justice - Bay Area (winter)
Animal Welfare - Oregon (spring)
Homelessness and Poverty - Bay Area (spring)
Immigration - Arizona (spring)
Immigration - San Diego (spring)
Native American Rights - San Diego (spring)
Central Valley Issues - Central Valley (spring)
Environmental Justice - Bay Area (spring)
Urban Pathways Project - Los Angeles (spring)