Faculty, staff needed for Penn State Alternative Breaks trips

February 04, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Hoping to expand, the Penn State Alternative Breaks program is seeking faculty and staff to join students on trips during fall, winter and spring breaks.

Since 2007, the Office of Student Activities has sent students on weeklong service experiences to various locations in the U.S., engaging with a variety of social justice issues. In the past, the program has sent out two to four trips per year, but the University is striving to grow the Penn State Alternative Breaks program to that of fellow Big Ten schools, such as the University of Michigan, which sent out 37 trips in 2014-15, and Ohio State, which has the second most alternative breakers in the country, with 85 trips and 1,200 participants.

In order to expand and provide more hands-on learning opportunities for students to engage with different communities through service, Penn State Alternative Breaks needs the help of faculty and staff willing to join these students as Learning Partners. The main responsibilities during a trip include driving a 15-passenger van throughout the trip and being an emergency responder in difficult situations. Other fun parts of the experience include participating in daily service projects, learning more deeply about a social justice issue of importance, being immersed in a culture outside of your own, and reflecting with the students and seeing them transform throughout the week.

Penn State Alternative Breaks also wants to pair Learning Partners with issues they are passionate about or have possibly studied, including civic engagement and community development, rural poverty, disaster relief, and urban Poverty. Each year the program works to expand the social justice issues it works with and would love to hear from possible Learning Partners about issues they are passionate about and would like to see as an Alternative Breaks experience for students.

If you are interested in being a Learning Partner for a free, weeklong service experience this spring (March 5 to 12) or have any other questions, contact Kelli Dowd, program coordinator for Service and Leadership, at kad37@psu.edu or 814-867-1242. If you are unable to participate this spring but would still be interested in being a Learning Partner on future trips, please contact Kelli to have your name added to the program’s list.

For additional information, visit http://sites.psu.edu/alternativebreaks/. 

  • Penn State Alternative Breaks
    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated April 19, 2017