Alternative Breaks Program

The mission of the Drury Alternative Breaks Program is to encourage an increased understanding of social and environmental issues by engaging students in service while creating opportunities for the development of leadership and active citizenship skills. Thanks to the support of SGA, we keep the costs for these trips are very affordable. We want every student to have the opportunity to go on an alternative break trip, whether it is over their fall or spring break.

On each trip, you will find:

  • Participants and trip leaders from diverse backgrounds
  • Strong direct service (an average of 15 hours over fall break and 32 hours over spring break)
  • Orientation, education, and training (no prior knowledge or training necessary)
  • Nightly reflection
  • Reorientation upon return
  • No drugs or alcohol throughout the trip
  • Eligible for 1 Engaged Learning graduation requirement

Take a look:

  • Spring Break
  • Fall Break
  • Alternative Break Archive
  • Spring Break 2018

    Our alternative spring break trips allow students to immerse themselves in another city's culture for an entire week. During this time students may find themselves housed in a church or community building, interacting with populations and cultures that differ from their own, and living in a way that they may be unaccustomed to. These trips can count towards an Engaged Learning credit for graduation and involves an average of 32-40 hours of service work with nonprofits.



    Trip Options: 

    Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery (New Orleans, LA)

    We will be working with the United Saints Recovery Project to assist communities that have suffered from natural disasters by helping residents return home, improve their quality of life, and strengthen their communities. Many of the activities that you may be helping with are construction projects or community development projects. You can help rehabilitate and rebuild homes or create art based beautification projects to distressed environments. Come help us restore New Orleans communities for those affected by natural disasters. 

    Animal Welfare and Environmental Preservation (Savannah, TN)

    On this trip, you will be working with the Horse Creek Wildlife Sanctuary and Animal Refuge in Hardin County, Tennessee on 2,000 acres of land. The goal of this organization is to provide shelter, medical care, and adoption services for abandoned and abused dogs. On this trip, you will be working around the kennel areas holding and walking dogs through the paved trail, talking sweet talk, giving out treats, and generally helping socialize the rescues. You will be making an immense impact on these animals and on their chances of finding a “forever home”.

  • Fall Break 2016

    Our alternative fall breaks consist of around 15 hours of service and awareness projects at a location within 6 hours of our Springfield campus. We typically leave on the Thursday of the break and return on Sunday. These trips are a great way to get a lot of experience with a social issue and create some great bonds with a nearby city.

    FALL BREAK 2018
    We have not yet set a trip for Fall of 2018. Details will be announced at a later date.


  • Alternative Break Archive

    Spring 2017

    Vail, CO: The Colorado group spent their week working across the whole Vail Valley, partnering with the Roundup River Ranch and the Vail Valley Foundation. The Roundup River Ranch is a summer camp for children age 7-17 that are diagnosed with serious (and sometimes terminal) illnesses to come together and just be kids and enjoy the time of kids going through the same thing they are. The camp had a big inspection the week we were there to gain approval for expanding the camp. We helped prepare the entire camp by cleaning, organizing, and getting the premises up to code. Our help allowed them to get 100% on their inspection and their expansion was improved. The Vail Valley foundation focuses on education, arts, and sports in the Vail Valley and raises a lot of money for impoverished families. We worked with the education side of thing preparing for events they had coming up, creating education activities for their after school programming, and preparing a garden for spring planting.

    Memphis, TN: The Tennessee group spent their time in Memphis, TN partnering with Living Lands and Waters and Bellevue Frayser Baptist Church. Living Lands and Waters is an organization that focuses its time and effort on cleaning up trash along the Mississippi River Basin and in the river. The group spent four days going out on boats and cleaning up trash in and along the river. At the end of the week the group picked up 64,485 pounds of trash alongside other universities that were also there for their spring break. The group also volunteered with a local church, Bellevue Frayser Baptist Church, in return for the church housing them for the week. At the church they painted walls in classrooms, recreation rooms, and hallways.

    Fall 2016

    Little Rock, AR: Students on this trip completed service projects with the Arkansas Children's hospital. They explored a variety of community issues including environmental upkeep, and gained awareness and understanding of the struggles families face with children with illnesses.

    Spring 2016

    Detroit, MI: Students on this trip explored a variety of issues within the Detroit community, including food, housing, healthcare, and jobs from an urban perspective. Participants worked with Cass Community Social Services and completed a wide variety of service projects with this organization. The service projects were centered around the day-to-day operations of Cass and included projects such as volunteering at a soup kitchen, painting/landscaping/recycling, working with adults with developmental disabilities, and activities with the homeless children and youth. Students got to see a lot of the city and come out with a holistic idea of what urban development looks like.

    Selma, AL: Students on this trip explored the historic importance that Selma held during the civil rights movement. In particular, the marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.  For service activities, the group partnered with Blackbelt & Central Alabama Housing. Participants got to stay in the home of the director of the housing association who has close ties to individuals who participated in the 1965 marches with Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Fall 2015

    St. Louis, MO: Students completed service projects with Angels' Arms, Epworth, and St. Vincent Home for Children in order to better understand the lives of children in foster care and foster families.

    Spring 2015

    Chicago, IL: Students worked with various nonprofits in the Chicago area to learn about many social issues. Partners included: Center on Halsted, All Stars Project of Chicago, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Inspiration Kitchens, Gardeneers, PAWS, Impact Engine, and YouTopia. Housing was provided by University Church.

    New Orleans, LA: Students worked with Common Ground Relief on wetlands restoration projects throughout the week.

    Spring 2014

    Twin Lakes State Park, VA: Participants worked at this state park alongside the park rangers to maintain various trails and clear brush.

    Washington, DC: This trip was dedicated to learning about urban farming and homelessness. The participants worked with DC Central Kitchen, which is a homeless shelter that utilizes an urban farm for its meals. They also worked with City Blossoms and Common Good City Farm, both urban farming programs.

    Spring 2013

    Denver, CO: Students worked with the African Community Center, which provides African refugees with the resources they need to build safe, sustainable lives in Denver.