Alternative Spring Breaks

We believe that learning about social justice in other communities across the United States can tell us something about how these issues play out in our own communities. 

Spring 2019 break descriptions will be posted in November; we will be continuing our partnerships with a majority of these organizations and starts some new ones too. The lottery for alternative spring breaks will open in January. 

2018 Community Partners
Lynchburg Grows
Mission: Lynchburg Grows is a seven-acre urban farm dedicated to providing access to fresh, local, produce for Lynchburg residents, restaurants, and organizations, while also providing onsite vocational training for disabled and low-income individuals.
Social justice sphere: Food security and sustainable agriculture
Site leaders: Abby Davidson and Lily Greenwald

Join the Lynchburg Grows alternative break if you're interested in food security, urban farming, or sustainable agriculture. Located in Lynchburg, VA, Lynchburg Grows provides vocational training and jobs for individuals, while directly addressing food security in the city by distributing thousands of pounds of fresh vegetables to designated food deserts. Travel with the Lynchburg Grows break to learn more about how this urban farm is changing lives!

Senior Connections
Mission: Empowering seniors to live with dignity and choice.
Social justice sphere: Ageism and services for low-income seniors
Site leaders: Joo Young Kang and Emily Xu

Senior Connections is a Richmond-based non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and empowering senior citizens, particularly those at or below the poverty line. Participants will visit different "Friendship Cafes," communities for seniors to socialize and eat nutritional food, throughout the break. They will also be educated by Senior Connections on the issue of ageism, the prevalent social and medical problems faced by this age group, and how we can help bridge the generation gap.

Safe House of Hope
Mission: To help victims of sex trafficking become an active part of a healthy community through education and training, and to provide support for the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of those victims.
Social justice sphere: Human trafficking
Site leaders: Torie Dunlap and Eric Asplund

Do you want to work first-hand with a group that provides support to survivors of human trafficking, while learning about human trafficking as a social justice issue? Our community partner, the Safe House of Hope in Baltimore, MD, strives to meet the needs of survivors and empower them as members of healthy communities. We will put a variety of skills to use in working with SHO Hope in addition to other local organizations dealing with issues intersectionally related to human trafficking. Please note, this break has a limited number of spots open.

Global Village Project
Community Partner: 
Habitat for Humanity of Laredo-Webb County
Mission: Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
Social justice sphere: Affordable housing and border issues
Site leaders: Salem Ergetie and Isa Lovain

For the fourth consecutive year, GVP will travel to the border town of Laredo, Texas, to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Laredo-Webb County. Over the break, participants will work side-by-side with community members to build affordable housing for low-income families. For weeks leading up to departure, the team will deeply explore the root causes of housing inequality in the context of the community, history, and future of the US/Mexico border. Once in Texas, the team will continue to build on their cultural and social justice education through direct service work and meaningful conversations with the people of Laredo. 

Innisfree Village
Mission:
 Innisfree Village, a voluntary community with adults with intellectual disabilities, is dedicated to providing a lifesharing home and work environment in an atmosphere of beauty, warmth, and respectfulness. All community members are valued, and all are encouraged to explore and contribute to a meaningful and challenging life.
Social justice sphere: Ableism and disability
Site Leaders: Likhitha Kolla and Caroline Spurr

Northern Neck Free Health Clinic
Mission: To fill critical health care gaps in our community.
Social justice sphere: Access to healthcare
Site leaders: Sarah Walker and Sruthi Kodali

Are you interested in issues surrounding access to healthcare? Join the alternative spring break trip to the Northern Neck Middlesex Free Health Clinic this year to learn about rural healthcare inequality. We will be traveling to Northern Neck, VA, to work with the clinic and understand how they fulfill their mission of addressing critical healthcare gaps in their community by providing dignified care to individuals who are uninsured.

Alternatives, Inc.
Mission: Alternatives, Inc. provides comprehensive services to individuals/families with special needs to enable them to reach their highest level of independence and integration into the community.
Social justice sphere: Mental health, disability rights/ableism
Site leaders: Emily Grace Braren and Jack Zhang

SMART San Francisco
Mission: SMART is a comprehensive 8-year program that provides low-income students in San Francisco access to an exceptional education and the skills needed to thrive in college and in life.
Social justice sphere: Equity in education, the opportunity gap
Site leaders: Elena Parcell and Caroline Nutter

 

Cost

The majority of our spring alternative breaks cost $200, with the exception of Global Village Project and SMART San Francisco, which cost $700 per participant. We are proud to be able to offer financial aid for all our trips. Please consult our financial aid page for more information about our policies.