Alternative Spring Break
"If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone." ~ Anonymous
Cornell's Alternative Spring Break program facilitates transformative service opportunities for students across campus. ASBers commit to spend their spring break performing service at sites across the country. Previous sites have included Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Joplin, Missouri, New Orleans, Louisiana, Atlanta, Georgia, Gainesville, Florida, and rural Appalachia. Groups spend the year planning the trip, fundraising, and educating themselves about the issues relevant to their service site.
Cornell subscribes to the "Break Away" ASB approach. Established by the national leader in coordinating and spearheading the ASB movement, the Break Away model includes eight components: (1) strong direct service, (2) orientation, (3) education, (4) training, (5) reflection, (6) reorientation, (7) diversity, (8) alcohol and other drug free. Returning students give the ASB program rave reviews. In 2012, 100% of respondents to the post-trip survey either strongly agreed (94%) or agreed (6%) that their service trip experience was positive, and testimonials from the trip echo this acclaim. One student respondent simply stated “My two trips have been the most rewarding opportunities I have had the privilege of participating in and leading while on Cornell’s campus, and I regret not participating sooner.” Students also routinely cited the educational value of the trip. As one student put it, “[Students] apply what they learn in the classroom to the service trips…I learned that I am academically capable of articulating my thoughts and beliefs in an unbiased way.”
If you are looking for a chance to immerse yourself in a social or environmental need, create new connections on campus, and test yourself through an exciting service experience, join the Alternative Spring Break movement!
Please check the Civic Engagement Office's YouTube channel to see highlights from the 2012 trips.