Service learning is one powerful, direct way for all of us, including students, to develop, in an enduring way, empathy for the lives and contexts of others. - President Brand
92% of business leaders believe volunteering expands an employee’s professional skill set. 82% of business leaders are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience.
Three in four employers say they want colleges to place more emphasis on critical thinking, complex problem-solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge in real-world settings. 91% of the Class of 2015 reported that their service-learning experience(s) contributed to their development in critical thinking.
As an Alternative Break participant, you’ll spend an intensive week at one of the many sites across the country in an experiential service learning project. But long before you leave for your trip, you’ll work with other students and coordinators planning the trip from start to finish. As a team, you’ll fundraise, raise awareness, and educate yourself on the social issues relevant to your service site and location.
Upcoming alternative break trips
Co-leaders: Finley Cowlishaw and Katie Homan
Co-leaders: Mia Farinas and Danielle Polson
Disaster Relief - Florida
Co-leaders: Kate Brogan and Meredith Whisenhunt
Disaster Relief - Texas
Co-leaders: Kaylee Crouse and Thomas Trainer
Poverty in the United States
Co-leaders: Octavia Martinez and Jillian Schulte
Co-leaders: Amy Harrison and Addie Pacha
Urban Youth and Education
Co-leaders: MaryJo Schmidt and Leonard Stewart
Women’s Rights and Domestic Violence
Co-leaders: Nicole Casal, Jen Davis, and Chloe Rossier
Complete the online application
Receive an email from your trip leaders about upcoming meetings
Participate in 8-10 pre-trip meetings and fundraising events to prepare for your service
Spend the week serving a new community
Bring back what you learned and educate the Cornell campus through re-orientation and find new ways to connect with your social issue
Application deadline: The deadline for this year has passed.
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 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 up to $1,132.
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 pay towards a student loan or the accrued interest on a student loan.
ICAP participation requirements
- You must be a United States citizen.
- You must be at least 17 years old.
- You must be enrolled at Cornell College.
- You must be willing to serve your community.
- You will complete 300 hours of service in Iowa over the course of the academic year.
- You will attend training sessions and meetings with your supervisor every block.
- You will support the programs and initiatives of the Civic Engagement Office.
- You will recruit and manage volunteers for your issues and programs.
Deadline: The deadline for this year has passed and all of our ICAP positions have been filled. Stay tuned until March or April if you are interested in participating next year!
- Apply to ICAPO by emailing Hannah Ganzel or Samantha Hebel.
- Participate in an interview and share more about your interest in ICAP and plan for your service hours.
- If you are accepted, you will complete entrance paperwork and attend orientation with Iowa Campus Compact in the fall and start working towards your 300 hours.
Help 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. Join fellow Cornellians and community members during Cornell’s annual Relay for Life event.
Cornell's 2018 Relay will take place on Friday, March 30, 2018.
Ways to be involved
- Join our committee to help plan monthly awareness events and the annual Relay for Life event! Committee meetings are open to students, faculty/staff, and community members and take place the first and third Tuesday of each block at 6:30 p.m. in Athens. If you cannot join in person, email Sabine Hahn or Sydney Cooper to get on our email list and help at events.
- Participate in our monthly awareness events that take place on the OC!
- Volunteer at the Hope Lodge in Iowa City where patients who are undergoing chemo can stay for free.
- Get involved with Relay for Life by creating a team, joining a team, participating as a survivor, or donating to the cause.
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?
Deadline: The deadline for applications have passed. If you are still interested in seeing if you can be involved, reach out to Anne Weitekamp.
- Apply online to mentor middle school students.
- Wait for an email from our coordinator to see if you have been accepted!
- Meet with middle school students each week to help with homework and positive self-image.
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!
Deadline: The deadline for applications have passed. If you are still interested in seeing if you can be involved, reach out to Kaylee Crouse.
- Apply online to become a Lunch Buddy.
- Wait for an email from our coordinator to see if you have been accepted!
- Meet one-on-one with your buddy for lunch and recess three times a block.
- Share your time, energy, and smiles with all the third graders during monthly activities outside the elementary school such as trick-or-treating and Reverse Lunch Buddies Day.
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.
- Email Elissa Karim to get added to our Social Justice listserv and stay up to date with upcoming events and opportunities on and off campus.
- Leave the second Wednesday of each block open to travel to the Emma Goldman Clinic in the evening. Transportation is provided!
- Share any events you hear about and we may be able to help provide transportation.
Join in dialogue with others in order to help transform conflicts on campus through skillful conflict resolution practices.
Deadline: The deadline for this year has passed and all of our Sustained Dialogue groups have been filled. Stay tuned next fall for Sustained Dialogue Moderator Training to help facilitate these groups or participant applications to get involved as a member.
- Apply online to participate in Sustained Dialogue.
- Wait for an email from your group moderators to let you know which group you are joining.
- Meet with your group once a week to discuss a problem your group identifies at Cornell and work towards methods to help improve our community.