Program Details:

Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks, a program of the Volunteer Resource Center, sends teams of college students to engage in community-based service projects during academic breaks. Students learn about the problems faced by members of communities with whom they may otherwise have had little or no direct contact. This immersion in diverse environments enables students to experience, discuss, and understand social issues in a significant way, ultimately, moving students towards action in making a positive impact in their own communities.

Alternative Breaks accepts and trains leaders each fall. It is these leaders that guide their peers on a trip of a lifetime! What makes Alternative Breaks stand out from all the rest? Alternative Breaks is committed to fostering leadership and life long learning component; the program works with a national chapter (Break Away) and are guided by their ongoing expertise. Leaders are trained over the course of the year on how to educate their peers before hand and facilitate reflective discussions with participants on trips so that each person dives into a unique and life transitioning experience through the act of giving. Students are then guided on how to best help in their own communities at home.

This is a private program by request only, or for a specific audience or group and there is a fee to attend. For more information, please visit the program website.


On Campus

  • University Memorial Center (UMC)

Outside Colorado

  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbia, SC
  • Catalina Island, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Miami, FL
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Atlanta, GA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Crossville, TN
  • Seattle, WA
  • Boulder Creek, CA

Program Partners

Supporting This Program

  • Disability Advocacy - Misericordia Home: Chicago, IL
  • Environmental Conservation- Catalina Island Conservancy: Catalina Island, CA
  • Food Access - Advocates for Urban Agriculture: Chicago, IL
  • Human Trafficking - Life of Freedom Center: Miami, FL
  • Immigration Reform - Green Valley-Sahuartia Samaritans, No More Deaths: Tucson, AZ
  • Juvenile Justice - South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice: Columbia, SC
  • LGBTQ Advocacy - Philip Rush Center: Atlanta, GA
  • Military Families - Wounded Warriors Project, Military Base Tour, Veteran's Village of San Diego: San Diego, CA
  • Natural Disasters & Rebuilding Mid City Redevelopment Alliance, Inc.: Baton Rouge, LA
  • Refugee Resettlement - International Rescue Committee: Sacramento, CA
  • Reproductive Justice - The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice: Oklahoma City, OK
  • Trail Building - Cumberland Trails Conference: Crossville, TN
  • Youth Science Education - YMCA, Camp Campbell: Boulder Creek, CA
  • Youth in Poverty - Low Income Housing Institute: Seattle, WA

Sponsoring Units

Student Affairs, Division of

  • Volunteer Resource Center

Program Contact

Alternative Breaks
Alternative Breaks Student Staff Coordinators

Program Categories


  • Community Planning
  • Community Volunteering
  • Diversity
  • Environmental Issues
  • Health Care/Human Services
  • Recreation/Entertainment
  • Sustainability and Energy

Program Types:

  • Civic Engagement
  • Community Development
  • Service Learning Course
  • Volunteer Services


  • At-Risk Youth
  • Children & Youth (outside school)
  • Families
  • Indigenous Populations (International)
  • International
  • Minority Group(s)
  • Non-Profit Organization
  • Rural Communities
  • Senior Citizens
  • Socio-Economic Disadvantaged
  • Tribal Communities (in U.S.)
  • Urban Communities

We do our best to accurately represent CU Boulder’s outreach programs and services, but they are subject to change and may no longer be active in a community. Please contact the program directly for current information.