Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Alternative Spring Break 2017

This year we are sending out five Alternative Spring Break to lead and serve in local communities on a variety of themes. We are so excited to see these trips impact the communities they are serving and how the participants can bring back what they have learned to Knoxville.


Animal Outreach focuses on the symbiotic relationship between people and the animals we encounter.

Wealth Distribution Awareness goes in-depth on how poverty, education, and justice intersect and contribute to the continuing cycle.

Youth Development highlights the disparities among childhood experience.

Gender Issues and Modern Inequalities focuses on the intersection of gender, sexual orientation, and racial identities and how that shapes modern inequalities.

Food Justice and Security, open to honors students, explores how food deserts contribute to current public health crises.



These 5 trips will bring us to 118 Alternative Break trips since the program’s beginning in 1993!     Students who went on ASB 2016 collectively served 2,093 hours over ASB, which is like giving the community partners $48,285.51

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Keeping Up With AFB

As our trips departed early this morning, over 90 students head out to serve communities all over the south east. Our trip leaders have been working on these trips since April and now our teams are heading to impact the world! Check out where we are going!



We can't wait to hear all of their stories and you can follow along with their trips too! Follow along on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #UTKAFB2016. We have six trips focusing on six awesome themes. Follow their stories as they get to know an issue and a community. All of our trips have individual blogs where they will document their experiences. And you can check them out right here in the sidebar!




Wednesday, September 21, 2016

AFB is underway!

On Tuesday, September 13th, we kicked off another year of Alternative Breaks!

Our AFB trips met together for the first time. All the participants and leaders met as one group to really understand what makes Alternative Breaks so wonderful. Then participants met in their teams and got to know each other and their trips better.

1. The 8 (+1) Components of a Quality Break Trip

Participants were introduced to what makes an alternative break trip a break trip through one of the 8 Components, Orientation. They learned more about our 23 years of Alternative Breaks here at UT and how they fit into the Tennessee Tradition over 100+ break trips!

While Alternative Break Trips across the country use the 8 Components, we added our own 9th component of simple living, which creates a unique immersion experience for all our participants. Simple living is how we structure our trips by simulating living at the poverty line. Trip leaders find zero cost housing and spend $6 a day on food per participant, $1 for breakfast $2 for lunch and $3 for dinner.

Want to know more about the 8 (+1) Components of a Quality Break Trip go here!

2. The Active Citizen Continuum

Participants were also introduced to the Active Citizen Continuum, which shows the path from a member to an Active Citizen. For different issues, a person's membership can be in different areas. 


Where would you place yourself for women's rights? or environmental issues? 

Participants were also asked where they fall on the continuum for their trips theme and participants ranged from member to active citizen! Growth is always possible, even for active citizens, and we can't wait to see how participants learn and grow on their trips.

3. Their Trips Theme! 

Then participants went to meet in their individual trips and get to know their themes even better. There are six AFB trips going out over Fall Break and we can't wait to see all the great work they accomplish for there community partners.

Where would you fall on the active citizen continuum for these themes? Which would you want to learn more about? 

Just wait and our trips will be reporting back about their experiences in blogs linked to this one! Just look right over here to the side bar ---> ---> --->

If you want to help support the Alternative Breaks Program come to our fundraiser Friday September 23rd from 5-9 PM at MAX AIR Trampoline Park and Jump for Alternative Breaks! 

Check out the Facebook event here

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Top Five Reasons to Go on Alternative Fall Break

Top Five Reasons to Go on AFB:

Alternative Break trips are a part of the Center for Leadership and Service which seeks to educate and engage all students to lead and serve in the global community. Since 1993 we have sent over 100 trips to lead and serve in neighboring communities. Sound like fun? Here's five reasons you should go! 

  1. Make new friends:
On Alternative Fall Break you will get to meet people from all walks of life who share the same goals and interests as you. You will make your own little Alt Break family and build relationships that will last more than your four years at UT!  

  1. Learn about an issue facing our world and local Knoxville community:
Our AFB trips have some pretty awesome themes this year, ranging from Identity and Inclusion to Disabilities in the Workforce to Minority Youth. That is just the tip of the iceberg. You can read more about our awesome themes here! On top of this, your trip leaders will educate you on your theme before your trip. Then you can bring your experiences back to impact the Knoxville community.

  1. Impact a community:
While these trips will be impactful for you, they can also transform a community. Last year, the economic impact of all our break trips was $77,826.01 for 3403 hours of service! Being able to work alongside our community partners and meet specific community needs significantly impacts the work these agencies are able to do. Something as simple as putting together HIV/AIDS testing packets to being able to paint a flood victim’s home can transform the work of that community partner.

  1. Create positive social change:
The purpose of Alternative Breaks are to strengthen the communities we serve and create positive change. Our goal is to challenge the systems of injustice the we find in the world and work to make society better for everyone. It’s a lofty goal but one worth pursuing.  

  1. Have fun!
Lastly, getting to spend all of fall break packed into UT vans, and gallivanting around a new place serving with your new best friends is a recipe for fun. You will bond through service and hard work and have a blast while doing it!

Are you ready to spend your fall break on AFB? Apply here! Want to learn more about the program first? Click here!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Alternative Spring Break 2016: By the Numbers!

Thank you to the trip leaders, staff learning partners, and all who made Alternative Spring Break 2016 a success! With your help, we were able to collectively serve 2,093 hours, which is like giving the community partners $48,285.51! (According to the "estimated value of volunteer time", $23.07)‪#‎UTKASB16‬

Thursday, February 18, 2016

AB Chipotle Fundraiser Success!



Burritos for a Cause!

A huge "thank you!" shout out to all those who came to Chipotle this past Tuesday evening to support the Alternative Break program. With your help, we were able to raise $405.80! This amount will go directly towards reducing each Alternative Spring Break 2016 participant's trip cost. 

Be on the lookout for more fundraisers coming up soon! Have you ever wanted to 'pie' your favorite UTK faculty and staff members in the face? You'll have JUST the opportunity coming up with the AB program's 4th annual Pie Day! Head to Pedestrian Walkway on Wednesday, March 3rd from 12-1 with a few dollars in cash to do just that. See you there! Click here to learn more through the Facebook event.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trip Leaders Meet Participants!

On Tuesday, September 15th, we welcomed over 75 participants to the Alternative Break Program. We had a general meeting to discuss the Center for Leadership and Service, Alternative Break program, and who we were. Following that, we had the moments they had all been waiting for. LOCATION REVEAL! Where would all of this incredible trips be starting their journey? 

Problems Facing America's Youth - Louisville, KY
Freedom Isn't Free: Civil Rights and Poverty - Selma, AL
Community Development - Durham, NC
Disability/Ability Awareness - Indianapolis, IN
Issues Facing the Refugee Community - Atlanta, GA
Health and Wellness Through the Lifespan - Charlotte, NC
Homelessness, Hunger and Urban Poverty - Memphis, TN

Each of these trips came up with different ways to present their theme to their participants: cupcakes, puzzles, scavenger hunt, etc.

 - Photo Courtesy of Tyra Livingston

- Photo Courtesy of Sophia Rubio

We are so excited to finally have everyone with us and now working towards learning more about their trip! Our trips set off on October 15th and will be returning to Knoxville on October 18th! Stay tuned to our site because you will have the opportunity to follow each trip through their own personal blogs! See pictures from their service work, organizations they have worked with , and read in to the life of an alternative break student. 

~ Fundraising Opportunity ~

Please join us on October 6th from 5pm-9pm at the Chipotle on the Strip (Cumberland Avenue)! This will be a great time for good fellowship and food. Mention the Alternative Break Program or show this flyer below and 50% of each receipt will be donated to the program! HOW COOL!?! 
Don't miss out on one of our favorite fundraiser of the year! 

See you all October 6th! 

*If you would like a larger version of this picture, feel free to contact me at hpennesi@vols.utk.edu.