Alternative Break Trip Leader Application
Mason’s Alternative Break (AB) programs are collaboratively designed by students and staff to address social issues through education and community service. Alternative Break teams face challenging issues such as discrimination, inadequate housing, hunger, and poverty. Students emerge from these experiences transformed with new ideas, perspective, and experiences that inspire active and engaged citizenship.
As a founding member of Break Away, we infuse our program with the eight components identified as qualities of high quality Alternative Break experiences: Strong Direct Service, Education, Orientation, Training, Reflection, Reorientation, Diversity, and Alcohol/Drug-free. Break Away’s continuum of individual development from Volunteer to Active Citizen informs our approach to trip preparation and design.
Alternative Break is a peer-to-peer leadership program. Team leaders are selected through an application process, and are provided training and support through the planning process. While some trips may have faculty or staff who serve as learning partners, students lead all alternative break experiences. Expectations of leadership include participation in a program retreat and weekly meetings for ongoing support through trip development.
For students who wish to deepen their learning, a credit option is available. Through individual inquiry and critical reflection papers, students engage in a closer examination of the implications of their service and the social issues addressed through the trip.
Alternative Break Coordinator
Patty Mathison, SAIL Director