Skip to content

Alternative Break Leaders and Learning Partners

Alternative Break Leaders (ABLs)

Students in a tug-of-war at a construction siteAlternative break leaders (ABLs) are responsible for working with a partner to select a trip theme and location, create the agenda of service opportunities, plan reflection opportunities, and provide pre-trip educational opportunities and post-trip reorientation opportunities for participants. In addition, trip leaders work with the student coordinator to provide fundraising opportunities that support the Alternative Break program. ABLs participate in a training program to help facilitate the process of trip preparation and engage trip leaders in relevant leadership training. There is no requirement that trip leaders have attended an alternative break trip in the past. A passion for service is all you need to be eligible.

17-18 ABL applications have closed. For reference, students interested in leading a trip next year can look at the 17-18 AB Dates as well as a list of ABL Expectations.

If you have any questions, contact Natalie Frankel at or 865-974-1039.


Faculty/Staff & Graduate Assistant Learning Partners

An integral part of this program is our faculty/staff and graduate assistant learning partners (LPs). These members are not involved in planning the trip but serve in an advisory capacity throughout the duration of the trip. Learning partners aid the student trip leaders if any issues arise on the trip, and they get to fully experience an Alternative Break trip while volunteering alongside the students. More information about the LP role can be found in this learning partner FAQ. Learning Partner applications for 2016-2017 are now closed, but those who have applied should still fill out and submit this ‘permission to attend’ form.

Serving as a Learning Partner is a fantastic way to meet other UT students and staff while giving back to a new community. There is no trip cost associated with being a Learning Partner. Each trip consists of twelve students, two student trip leaders, and one learning partner. To express interest in serving as an LP on a future trip, or if have questions, e-mail Natalie Frankel at

Applications to be an Alternative Break Leader are now closed.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.