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Alternative Break Program

The mission of the Alternative Break program is to engage students in meaningful and collaborative community service in an effort to increase awareness of social issues and strengthen the communities in which they serve as well as foster a strong sense of community among trip participants and to the university as a whole.

The University of Tennessee has held alternative break community service trips for students since 1993. During these trips, held during fall and spring breaks, students travel in groups to new areas where they collaborate with local service agencies to meet specific community needs. Each trip is centered around a service theme that helps students gain a well-rounded perspective of a specific social issue. Students take steps toward becoming an active citizen by participating in pre-trip meetings and educational opportunities, meaningful reflections throughout the trip, connecting everything they’ve experienced to the Knoxville community by participating in a pre- or post-trip service project, and a post-trip reorientation event.

To learn more about the Alternative Break program and find out how you can get involved, explore the links at the top of this page. You can also read blog posts from recent trip participants!

What Former Alternative Break Participants Have to Say

“Since fall break was just several weeks after I came to this really big school, I would say AFB helped in more ways than one. It made me feel more comfortable with the people and resources here, plus you find a group of friends with similar values and interests.” —2013 participant

“One of my goals has always been to leave our UT community better than I found it. Going on ASB has not only allowed me to make connections with awesome students/faculty on campus, but has also expanded my perspective to leave the global community better than I found it.” —2013 Participant

“Before this trip, my perception was that service had to be substantial and large to be meaningful. Now I see any genuine act of service is meaningful.” —2012 Participant

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