NOW OPEN: Alternative Spring Break Team Leader Applications

Be Bold, Be Brave, Go Serve!


WOU AB Mission and Goals: 

Western Oregon University’s Alternative Break Program connects students with transformative hands-on experiences. WOU students partner with volunteer and community organizations to make a tangible difference in areas of social and cultural concern throughout our local and global communities. Students gain important insights such as:

    • The value of heightened social awareness
    • The importance of lifelong active citizenship
    • The promotion of advocacy of social change within communities


Read about our past 2017/2018 teams in the Western Edge’s article WOU in the World




Alternative Spring Break Team Leader Applications

Deadline to Apply- Sunday, October 28 by 7pm


WOU AB Spring Break 2019 Team Leader Applications

WOU Alternative Spring Break teams are led by two volunteer student leaders who serve as Team Leaders in the positions of Team Developer and Team Educator. Team Educators coordinate all educational aspects and work cooperatively with the Team Developer to plan the details of their experience and provide leadership and support to team members.

Team Developer Application

Team Educator Application


Expectations of Team Leaders

  • Lead team members and advisor(s) in pre-break, on-break and post-break transformations to engage in meaningful service experiences.
  • Cooperatively work with co-leader, team members, advisor(s), and AB program staff.
  • Participate in overnight training retreat in November, dates to be determined.
  • Meet with Alternative Break program staff during fall and winter terms.
  • Meet with co-leader and advisor(s) during fall and winter terms.
  • Prepare presentation for Academic Excellence Showcase and engage team members in sharing their experiences.

Team Developer

  • All of the above team leader expectations
  • Coordinate all logistics for the team (schedule, budget, housing, transportation, and meals).
  • Review feedback and data of previous community partners, research new community partners and communicate with selected community organizations.
  • Develop break logistics within the budget provided by the WOU AB program staff
  • Plan itinerary in collaboration with Team Educator
  • Oversee coordination of meals, cultural excursion and other logistics needed based on unique aspects of service
  • Collaborate with Team Educator to conduct team member application review, interviews and selection.
  • Meet with the Alternative Break Developer program staff on a weekly/bi-monthly throughout the academic year
  • Pay the required participation cost.


Team Educator

  • All of the above team leader expectations
  • Coordinate all educational aspects for the team
  • Research the focus area and become knowledgeable about pressing issues in the communities you will be serving
  • Develop pre-break meetings with an emphasis on orientation, education, and training for team members.
  • Prepare on-break daily reflections that help move your team members along the Active Citizen’s Continuum.
  • Plan the pre-break service experience.
  • Support the Team Developer in development of the itinerary.
  • Coordinate interviews for team members and communicate with selected participants; conduct team member application reviews, interviews, and selection in collaboration with Team Developer
  • Meet with the AB Educator program staff on a weekly/bi-monthly throughout the academic year
  • Pay the required participation cost.


Focus Areas for AB 2018/2019:

  • Youth and Education
  • Food and Housing Insecurity
  • Community Health


Applications close Sunday, October 14 by 7pm

Complete the AB Team Leader Application, which includes an upload of a resume and cover letter. In your cover letter, please be sure to address the following questions:

  • Why do you want to be an Alternative Break Team Leader?
  • How might leading an Alternative Break team contribute to your educational, career, and personal goals?
  • What previous skills or leadership experiences do you have that will contribute to your role as an Alternative Break Team Leader?

Team Developer Application

Team Educator Application

*You may apply for both leadership roles; however, please tailor your application materials to the specified responsibilities for that role.

For any questions, please contact AB program staff at


Team Member Expectations

Pre-Break Transformation

Prepare for on-site experience and learn about site-specific social issues:

• Education, Orientation and Training
• Pre-Break Service
• Pre-reflection: Goals and Expectations
• Icebreakers and Group Building


On-Break Transformation

Look critically at the root causes of social issues and evaluate the role that you can play in the community:

• Strong Direct Service
• Ongoing Education
• Community Involvement
• Daily Reflection Tied To Service


Post-Break Transformation

Find avenues for continued community involvement and take the next action steps:

• Reorientation
• Continued Education
• Reflection About Reentry Process
• Post – Break Service
• Challenges To Make Life Choices That Benefit The Community


Eligibility to Participate

  • Enrollment: Students must be currently enrolled at Western Oregon University
  • Academic Standing: Students must be in good academic standing
  • Judicial Standing: Students must be in good judicial standing

*this applies for all terms from application to team departure


Site Locations Explained

  • Local: locations within Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties
  • Regional: locations within a 10 hour driving radius (past examples: Salem, Portland, Reno, Boise, Seattle)
  • National: locations within the United States that require air travel (past examples: Colorado, Tennessee)
  • International: locations outside of the United States (past examples: Honduras, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Kenya)





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.)




WOU Alternative Break Program

(503) 838-8716 | or e-mail:  | Location: WUC 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

Ecuador '15 and Costa Rica '16

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

Team Member


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

Team Member