The mission of the University of North Texas' Alternative Breaks Program is to raise awareness of social issues and injustices through education and intensive service learning experiences. With the goal of promoting service on the local and national, students are immersed in communities that will bring to the forefront social awareness and inspire lifelong action and friendships.
Alternative Breaks provide a variety of low cost, week long and weekend service opportunities. There is no more powerful service experience than when students are fully immersed in new communities and social issues. These opportunities not only contribute to a deeper understanding of social issues, service and community, but are often the sparks which ignite people to get involved in community service.
Community Partners for 2016-2017:
Winter, Trip dates: January 7th-14th
Our House- Our House supports homeless and near-homeless families and individuals through services such as workforce training, academic support, children’s programs, and client support services. Their programs encourage wise decision making, active participation and hard work for the community in Little Rock, Arkansas. UNT students will be learning about the programs offered at Our House and specifically working with the children’s program. (http://ourhouseshelter.org/)
Mission: St. Louis- Mission: St. Louis works to fight the cycle of urban poverty through community empowerment and relationship building in a multi-generational approach. Their programs engage families in St. Louis in programming to drive them to achieve academically and professionally. Students will be learning about community engagement and supporting a number of initiatives within the organization. (http://www.missionstl.org/)
Spring, Trip dates: March 11th-18th
Champion Athletes of the Ozarks- Champion Athletes builds self-esteem, self-confidence and life skills to enhance the lives of children and adults with disabilities through education and sports competition. UNT students will be assisting with training and programs during the week. (http://www.championathletes.org/)
Arkansas Children’s Hospital- Arkansas Children’s Hospital is one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country. In addition to specialized pediatric medical specialists and services, the hospital has education and child life programs to help build a rounded experience for children and their families. UNT students will be shadowing staff at the hospital as well as supporting child life programs during their week on site. (http://www.archildrens.org/)
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge- Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. TCWR is home to dozens of large cats that have been rescued from mistreatment or neglect from across the country. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the stories of many of the animals at TCWR and help to build structures and enrichment activities for the animals in the refuge. (http://www.turpentinecreek.org/)
Stop Hunger Now- The mission of Stop Hunger Now is to end world hunger in our lifetime by providing food and aid to the world’s vulnerable areas. Students on this trip will learn about global hunger initiatives, complete a food packaging event and also work with local Kansas City, Missouri hunger relief programs. (http://www.stophungernow.org/)
Camp Fire Heart- Camp Fire Heart is all about building up children through play and the outdoors. Students will serve as camp counselors for the week and will engage with children as they learn how to love the outdoors and enjoy being a kid. (http://www.campfireusa-ok.org/)
Something New- Something New is an organization committed to addressing issues through community empowerment and development. This program will take students to Clarkston, GA often referred to as “the most diverse square mile in America” due to the high number of international refugees that are resettled in the area through various government programs. Students will learn the history of Clarkston and work with local families to support the local community. (http://www.somethingnew.org/)
St. Bernard’s Project- The mission of SBP is to help communities and families recover after they have been impacted by a disaster. This trip is for our Greek Life community and students will be doing home remodeling projects in the New Orleans area. (http://www.stbernardproject.org/)
Land Between the Lakes- Land Between the Lakes is a 140,000+ acre National Recreation area, it is home to miles of hiking trails, nature preserves, an elk and bison prairie and an authentic working 1850s homestead and farm. Students will be working on a variety of nature and wildlife protection projects during the trip. (https://friendsoflbl.org/)