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Alternative Break

Alternative Break Program

Western Oregon University’s student-led and service-driven Alternative Break Program provides students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in hands-on community service in local and global communities. Through immersive service experiences, team members develop cultural awareness, build leadership skills and engage in the advancement of social justice.

 

 

2018 Alternative Spring Break Teams

The last few months of summer brought an onslaught of natural disasters to Oregon and our nation’s South. Like us, you probably watched the news coverage with shock, feeling helpless and wondering what you could do to restore beauty to Oregon’s fire-ravaged forests or help survivors of Hurricanes Harvey.

Your opportunity to assist in local and national communities is right around the corner. By volunteering for Alternative Spring Break, you’ll get a chance to not only make a difference for natural disaster victims, but you’ll also learn about societal issues that contribute to inequality in disaster relief and underlying reasons for vulnerability in the first place, such as socio-economics, history and politics.

 

 

Regional Team: Responding to Forest Fires (Oregon)

Team Leads: Daisy Chavez and Tiffany Lewis

Dates: Saturday, 24 to Saturday, March 31, 2018

Team: two co-leaders, two faculty/staff advisors, and five to seven team members

Transportation: 12 passenger van

Housing: to be determined, past regional teams have slept in community centers, churches, and occasionally rented a house. We do our best to find the most affordable housing option

Rough Estimate of Cost: we are working on building a team specific budget at this time, more information will be available soon. Past regional teams have cost between $2,000 and $4,000 per team. Each individual is responsible for paying $400 and the rest of the funds are raised together through various fundraisers

 

National Team: Responding to Hurricanes (Texas)

Team Leads: Cecilia Perez and Veronica Villarreal

Dates: Saturday, March 24 to Saturday, March 31, 2018 (tentative, may depart on Friday March 23)

Team: This team will have two co-leaders, two faculty/staff advisors, and six to nine team members

Transportation: air travel to the site location and 12 passenger van once on-site

Housing: to be determined, past national teams have slept in community centers, hostels, churches, and occasionally rented a house. We do our best to find the most affordable housing option

Rough Estimate of Cost: we are working on building a team specific budget at this time, more information will be available soon.  Past national teams have cost between $12,000 and $17,000 per team.

 

Site Locations

  1. Regional: locations within a 10 hour driving radius (past examples: Salem, Portland, Reno, Boise, Seattle)
  2. National: locations within the United States that require air travel (past examples: Colorado, Tennessee)
  3. International: locations outside of the United States (past examples: Honduras, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Kenya)

 

Application timeline:

Applications Open: Monday, September 25 – Wednesday, October 18

Application Review: Monday, October 23 – Monday, October 30

Interviews: Tuesday, October 31 – Tuesday, November 7

Teams Announced: announced by Friday, November 10

 

 

Eligibility to Participate

 

  1. Enrollment: Students must be currently enrolled at Western Oregon University (for summer teams, students who graduated the prior Spring term are eligible)
  2. Academic Standing: Students must be in good academic standing
  3. Judicial Standing: Students must be in good judicial standing

*this applies for all terms from application to team departure

 

 

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Eli Cox, WOU ’14

Looking back at his time at WOU, [Eli] Cox credits two factors for his success in his field and in life. The first is the faculty in the health department….The second key ingredient in Cox’s recipe for success was service learning. In his time at WOU, he took several trips abroad to help indigenous people with basic services. “The people on those trips became my community, which was what I needed,” he said. “I loved being actively engaged, getting to see the direct impact of our work. It really helped me get a better understanding of myself and of life.” Read more of Eli’s experiences and impact in WOU Stories
(Cox (center) poses in 2013 with team members during a service learning trip to India.)

 


CONTACT US

WOU ALTERNATIVE BREAK PROGRAM STAFF

Call: (503) 838-8432 | Email: alternativebreak@wou.edu  | Visit: Werner University Center 119

My favorite aspect of this program was that it gave me the opportunity to do what I love best, and that is working hands on with underserved populations and with this, I have created so many connections with those who I have served internationally and the connections and memories I have made will carry me through the rest of my life.

Kaylyn Taylor

Psychology

My trip was very eye-opening and overall a great experience!

Team Member

Seattle

I want to keep experiencing other cultures and learn why cultures are different and how we can benefit each other.

Team Member

Honduras