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Alternative Breaks|Service, Leadership & Community Engagement

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About Alternative Breaks:

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The Alternative Breaks (AB) Program provides unique opportunities where students can address local and global issues through direct service and education.  Furthermore, AB provides an outlet for students to develop leadership skills and a commitment to service, promoting future leaders.

The AB program is distinct in its students-leading-students model.  Every year, students are selected, by an application process, to serve as Team Leaders for the service trips.  Their responsibilities include planning and organizing the trips, team building activities, as well as overseeing the group's needs while at their host site.

2013/2014 Alternative Break Trips:

2013 Winter Break Trip:

Germany/Poland - December 14-23

2014 Spring Break Trips: March 14-22, 2014

Moab, Utah: Environmental Conservation $350

San Francisco: Youth Development $750

New Orleans: Disaster Relief $750

Costa Rica: Youth Development $1650

Trinidad & Tobago: Community Development $1650

Jamaica: Community Development $1650

Trip Requirements, Policies & Procedures :

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Trip Requirements:

  1. International and domestic trips are open to any full or part time University of Wyoming student.

  2. A deposit is due at time of sign up.

  3. Payments can be made with check or credit/debit card. Cash is not accepted.

  4. Sign-up for each trip is on a first come, first serve basis.

Students who Participate in an Alternative Break Program will:

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  1. Gain a deeper understanding of issues facing the world.
  2. Develop meaningful relationships.
  3. Gain a greater appreciation for diversity.
  4. Gain a sharpened sense of civic duty.

Team Leaders:

Each Alternative Break will be lead by one or two students and anyone has the opportunity to be that leader. Domestic trips will have two Team Leaders on each trip while international trips will have one team leader. Team Leaders will be involved in researching information about their trip, recruiting and selecting students to accompany them on the trip. Team Leaders must be able to complete a minimum of four hours of service each week, with a minimum of two hours in the SLCE Office. In addition Team Leaders will participate in fundraising programs. Trip cost for Team Leaders will be covered through the AB Program. As a bonus Team Leaders will enroll in a Spring Semester course, CNSL 2800: Fundamentals of Alternative Break Leadership, a 1 credit hour class taking place Monday nights at 5pm. If you are interested in becoming a Team Leader, applications will be available on August 26th, 2013. If you have questions about team leaders please stop in the SLCE Office. Applications are due September 21st, 2013.

Team Leader Applications are available here.

Policies & Procedures:

All Alternative Breaks policies and procedures are addressed in the Alternative Breaks Policy Manual. All the staff, Team Leaders, and participants are expected to read and abide by all policies and procedures addressed in the manual.

Participant Selection Process and Deposits/Payments:

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Participation in the Alternative Breaks program is on a first come, first serve sign-up basis. A deposit is required at the time of sign-up to reserve a space. No participant is guaranteed a spot on a trip until payment is received. After a deposit is received, the remainder of the balance for each trip will be divided into two equal payments due on specific dates (outlined below). Payments for participants with late admission will be coordinated on a case-by-case basis. Payments may be made in the form of check or credit/debit card. All payments are non-refundable and students without payment in full at the time of the trip will not be permitted to go.

The cost of the trip covers all transportation costs, food, lodging, and service activities. Other costs, such as free-day activities, tourist activities, and souvenirs are the responsibility of the participant. Additionally, if a participant breaks the alcohol and drug free policy (see Policy Manual) they will be sent home immediately, will be responsible for the cost of their return trip home, and they will also be subject to the UW Code of Conduct.

Payment Schedule:

All participants are expected to cover the full cost of their trip. Fundraising opportunities will be available.

What you should know about paying for your trip:

  • An initial deposit is due when you sign up
  • The remaining balance will be divided into two payments
            1. First Payment due: January 24, 2014
            2. Second Payment due: February 21, 2014
  • Please remember that ALL payments are NON-REFUNDABLE
  • Payments for participants with late admission will be coordinated on a case-by-case basis

Drug & Alcohol Policy:

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The Alternative Break trips are DRUG and ALCOHOL FREE. This applies to all applicants, even those over the age of 21. At no time, nor under any circumstance are participants, Team Leaders, or staff members permitted to consume alcohol or any other substance while participating in an AB program. This includes traveling to and from DIA. Additionally, no alcohol is allowed for purchase or transport on domestic or international trips. Participants in violation of this policy will be sent home immediately at their own expense.

See the Alternative Breaks Policy Manual for more information.

Fundraising and Scholarship Opportunities:

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Students can earn money by working concessions with Team Leaders at men's basketball games. Each game a participant works will earn them money ($33) that comes straight off the cost of their trip.

Email to sign up for a game or for more information about fundraising.

Alternative Breaks wants to make each trip as affordable as possible. We work with students to take part in both individual and group fundraising. Scholarships are also available with the SLCE office through the generous gift of Rocky Mountain Power for domestic and international trips and International Programs for international trips. Contact the SLCE office for more information regarding fundraising opportunities as well as scholarship requirements and deadlines.

Contact Information:

For more information regarding Alternative Breaks, please contact Sagan Hunsaker at To speak directly with AB staff, please call (307) 766-3117. Alternative Breaks is located in the lower level of the Wyoming Union in the SLCE Office (Room 006).

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