Domestic Week-Long Experiences 

Students sign up for a break based on a social issue they are interested in, as opposed to the location of the break. The location and organization are disclosed to the group following sign-ups. Students meet weekly with their group prior to departure in order to assist with planning and to work on education of their social issue. Students will also learn about the Eight Quality Components of an Alternative Break, as well as the Active Citizen Continuum, according to the Break Away model for Alternative Breaks.

Going on an Alternative Breaks is a wonderful experience. As a participant, you will attend weekly meetings with your group to get to know one another, plan details of the break, and become more educated on the social issue you will be serving. In addition to weekly meetings, participants will attend program wide events including Orientation, Kick-Off and the Re-Orientation Celebration. 

Participants must follow the participant policy , which can be viewed by following the link provided. The participant policy covers the billing process to your student account, the Alcohol and Drug-Free policy, being a committed, contributing member of your site, attending meetings and events, and risk management policies such as staying with a site leader at all times.

To learn how to sign up, please click here to watch our tutorial video.  

For the 2019-2020 year, many of our domestic break names have changed. Please pay attention to the new and previous names. If you have any questions, please contact us at abinfo@cmich.edu.

Alternative Winter Breaks

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2019 Alternative Winter Breaks (AWB) depart Saturday, December 14, 2019, and will return Saturday, December 21, 2019. This time period covers all possible travel time.

Sign-ups for domestic 2019 Alternative Winter Breaks will be held on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. on the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center's Engage portal. Stay tuned for more details.


AWB 2019 Issues 

Access to Sports and Healthy Lifestyles: Creating close, convenient and safe spaces for children to exercise, play, and learn about nutritional eating and healthy lifestyles.

Previously named Access to Sports and Recreation

Animal Welfare: Working to better the lives of rescued animals by creating safe and peaceful spaces for them to heal and thrive.

Previously named Animal Rescue

Coastal RecoveryWorking with community-identified needs to assist in rebuilding communities affected by natural disasters.

Previously named Community Restoration

Community Outreach for Aging Populations: Improving the quality of life for people who live independently at an assisted living facility.

Early Childhood Development:  Providing support in an educational setting focused on children from 6 weeks old to 6 years old. 

Ending Animal Exploitation: Working to protect the lives of previously exploited animals through rescue, education, and advocacy.

Environmental Conservation: Working to conserve and improve the Earth’s natural environment by maintaining public land. Break location varies by season.

Food Insecurity & Homelessness: Assisting with food preparation and service for individuals experiencing homelessness. Break location varies by season.

Historical Preservation: Working to maintain historical sites and landmarks.

Housing Inequality: Working to build affordable housing options for communities impacted by natural disasters. Break location varies by season.

Housing Inequality and Food Insecurity: Assisting with food preparation and service for communities experiencing homelessness.

Leadership through Education: Interacting with grades K-5 in a diverse classroom setting at a school focused on leadership development. 

Natural Disaster Restoration: Working to relieve communities that have been affected by natural disasters.

Nutritional Support for Healthy Recovery: Working to ensure nutritional accessible food is available for all communities. Break location varies by season.

Previously named Food Justice

Preserving Public Lands: Working to restore and protect the environment and its natural habitats. Break location varies by season.

Previously named Protecting Public Lands

Supporting Immigrant Populations: Working to provide support services to families and individuals who have immigrated to the United States.

Supporting Survivors of Aggression: Assisting efforts to support girls and young women who have experienced domestic violence.

Preciously named Survivors of Aggression

Urban Sustainability: Conserving nature in urban areas and maintaining green spaces.

Veteran's Support & Outreach: An opportunity for students to work in a veteran affairs system to give back to men and women of all ages who have served our country.

Wildlife Habitat Rehabilitation: Working to better the lives of and environment of hurt and injured wildlife so that they can be released back into the wild.

Previously named Wildlife Rehabilitation

Youth Advocacy: Encouraging children and young adults by helping to provide a safe environment and educational support.

Youth Resource Development: Working to provide support to youth that lack adequate resources to ensure proper development.

Previously named Youth Development

Alternative Spring Breaks

Alternative Spring Breaks (ASB) take place during academic spring break in March. 

Sign-ups for domestic 2020 Alternative Spring Breaks will be held on Tuesday, October 29th, 2018 at 7:30 a.m. on the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center's Engage portal. Stay tuned for details. 


Alternative Spring Breaks will depart Saturday, March 7, 2019, and return Sunday, March 15, 2019. These dates include all possible travel time.

 

ASB 2020 Issues

Access to Sports and Healthy Lifestyles: Creating close, convenient and safe spaces for children to exercise, play, and learn about nutritional eating and healthy lifestyles.

Previously named Access to Sports and Recreation

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities: Working to assist individuals with physical or mental disabilities through accessibility and education.

Conserving Land and Water: Working to enhance and preserve  wetlands and wildlife in environmental areas. Break location varies by season.

Previously named Coastal Restoration

LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness: Working in the LGBTQ+ community to promote education, awareness, and advocacy for health and equal rights. 

Previously named LGBTQ+ Solidarity

Nutritional Support for Health Recovery: Helping to provide nutritional assistance to individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and cancer.

Preserving Public Lands: Working to restore and protect the environment and its natural habitats. Break location varies by season.

Previously named State Parks and Preservation

Refugee & Immigrant Education: Working to help children born internationally transition into the American school system.

Restoring Urban Spaces: Working to make housing affordable by providing maintenance and repairs.

Previously named Urban Revitalization

Rural Poverty: Assisting with food distribution for individuals living in a rural community.

Supporting Elementary Education: Interacting with youth, grades K-6, in a classroom setting.

Uplifting Children & Families: Bringing hope and fun to children and families in need by engaging in uplifting activities. 

Urban Education: Working alongside students in urban settings at an after-school program. 


 Alternative Summer Breaks

Science and Tech.jpg Alternative Summer Breaks (ASumB) depart following the spring semester and are a week in length.

Sign-ups for domestic 2020 Alternative Summer Breaks will be held on Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 at 7:30 a.m. on the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center's Engage portal.

Most Alternative Summer Breaks will depart Saturday, May 9, 2020, and return Sunday, May 17, 2020. These dates include all possible travel time.


ASumB 2019 Issues

Access to Sports and Healthy Lifestyles: Creating close, convenient and safe spaces for children to exercise, play, and learn about nutritional eating and healthy lifestyles.

Previously named Access to Sports and Recreation

Access to STEAM Education: Working to enhance the lives of children through science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.

Animal Endangerment: Rescuing at-risk animals while improving their natural habitat.

This break will depart Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, August 1st and return Sunday, August 9th. These dates include all possible travel time

Arts, Access, and Education: Incorporating arts education in urban communities to build environments that support arts-rich, lifelong learning. 

Previously named Arts and Activism

Conserving Land & Water: Working to enhance and preserve lost wetlands and wildlife in environmental areas. Break location varies by season.

Previously named Protecting Land and Water

Environmental Conservation: Working to conserve and better Earth’s natural environment by keeping surrounding areas well kept. Break location varies by season.

Food Insecurity & Homelessness: Assisting with food preparation and service for individuals experiencing homelessness. Break location varies by season.

Housing Inequality: Working to relieve communities that have been affected by natural disasters. Break location varies by season.

Leadership through Education: Interacting with grades K-5 in a diverse classroom setting at a school focused on leadership development. 

LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness: Working in the LGBTQ+ community to promote education, awareness, and advocacy for health and equal rights. Break location varies by season.

Previously named LGBTQ+ Solidarity

Nutrition and Healthy Living: Gardening in an urban setting to provide nutritional support for individuals living in food deserts. 

Previously named Neighborhood Nutrition

Nutritional Support for Healthy Recovery: Working to ensure nutritional accessible food is available for all communities. Break location varies by season.

Previously named Food Justice

Substance Abuse Recovery: Serving with an organization whose goal is breaking the cycle of addiction and homelessness. 

Previously named Substance Abuse

Supporting Elementary Education: Interacting with youth, grades K-6 in a classroom setting, providing support to elementary schools, and teaching about healthy lifestyles. 

Therapeutic Recreation for Persons with Disabilities: Serving in a rural setting to establish an atmosphere of support, respect, and health for persons with disabilities. (This break utilizes equine therapy and participants will be required to interact with the horses). 

Previously named Children with Disabilities

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