March 22, 2017
Sheena Rice, email@example.com, 573-882-8353
COLUMBIA, Mo. – While some students will head off on beach vacations or back home for spring break, approximately 700 University of Missouri students will be hitting the road for a week of volunteer service. Nearly 60 groups of students will be traveling to 44 communities across the United States, from Yellowstone National Park to Washington, D.C.
“Mizzou Alternative Breaks provides students the opportunity to gain a wider perspective of the world while immersed in service to people and communities,” said Cathy Scroggs, vice chancellor for student affairs at MU. “I am proud that so many Mizzou student leaders choose to spend their vacations helping others, and that each year the program grows in popularity.”
Mizzou Alternative Breaks participants learn about important community issues including education, health, homelessness and more. Volunteer activities include:
- Helping preschool children at Head Start in Billings, Montana.
- Serving veterans at the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina.
- Restoring trails at Yellowstone National Park.
- Building homes on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.
- Working at a recovery center for survivors of domestic and sexual assault in Houston.
- Assisting the homeless population in Washington, D.C.
“Mizzou Alternative Breaks is led completely by students. From the board of directors to the site leaders, every participant is a Mizzou student,” Scroggs said. “Students determine where the groups will go and the organizations they will serve.”
Founded in 1991, Mizzou Alternative Breaks sends groups of students on service trips during weekend, Thanksgiving, spring, summer and winter breaks. Participants enter communities with the mindset of “Serve, don’t help”— one of the program’s guiding principles.
In 2014, Mizzou Alternative Breaks announced a partnership with MU Extension and pledged to bring service trips to all of Missouri’s 114 counties by 2020. This March and April, students will make 30 trips across the state, for a total of 42 service trips in 38 Missouri counties this academic year.