Cornell students participate in Cornell's Alternative Break, a service project.

What will you do?

Cornell Alternative Breaks

"I could rely on myself to get through tough times when I feel alone or inadequate for the challenges ahead. But when I have people, friends, classmates, a team by my side, I get so much more out of the experience. I learn more, and I am a fuller human being. It’s the people around us who support us, and who we support, that makes the trip—and life—worthwhile.”–Carly Pierson ‘17, Alternative Spring Break 2017 to Waco, Texas

As an Alternative Break participant, you’ll spend an intensive week at one of many sites across the country in an experiential service learning project. As a team, you’ll fundraise, raise awareness, and educate yourself on the social issues relevant to your service site and location.

Iowa College AmeriCorps Program

Get involved in the local communities surrounding Mount Vernon. As a participant in the Iowa College AmeriCorps Program, you’ll dedicate 300 hours of service (capacity-building work) to local communities by the end of one academic year. At the end of your academic year, you’ll have grown in countless ways and you’ll receive an educational grant.

You might use your educational grant to fund your study abroad trip or your off-campus studies course. You can use the grant money to buy books for your classes, help pay for your room and board, or put money toward a student loan or the accrued interest on a student loan. 

Colleges Against Cancer (CAC)

Help in the fight against cancer. Cornell’s CAC chapter sponsors events on campus aimed at bringing awareness to cancer risks and to help raise money for The American Cancer Society. CAC committee members give back to the community through volunteerism in addition to raising awareness.

Since its inception in 2002, Cornell’s Relay for Life has raised more than $500,000. Those dollars assist The American Cancer Society's mission to save lives from cancer. Donations fund cancer research, critical patient services, and education and prevention initiatives.

When you join Cornell's Relay for Life, you are working toward a cancer-free world.  

Cornell Success Lab

Interested in fostering kids’ self image and personal growth? Be a mentor to a child through Cornell’s Success Lab. You’ll visit the Mount Vernon Middle School to meet with students, talk with them, and help them with their studies. Once a semester, you’ll plan a fun activity for the middle school students—dodgeball, anyone?

Lunch Buddies

62 students participated in Lunch Buddies in 2018-2019.

Connect with local third-graders by joining them for lunch and recess three times a month. Host a Halloween party for the third-graders, bring them to a Cornell basketball game, or eat lunch with them on campus. Be a young child’s role model and have fun!

Social Justice Initiative

Collaborate with local organizations to raise awareness, educate, and assist with ongoing social justice programs. Through Cornell’s Civic Engagement Office, you’ll have the opportunity to work with organizations like the Emma Goldman Clinic, Justice For Our Neighbors, and the Catherine McAuley Center.

Sustained Dialogue

Join in dialogue with others in order to help transform conflicts on campus through skillful conflict resolution practices. Sustained Dialogue is a national program in which student leaders can be trained in conflict resolution methods.

Dialogues take place among students, faculty, and staff, and they meet regularly to engage in dialogue regarding issues at Cornell, working together to discover creative solutions to local problems.