Community Outreach & Leadership Development

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 2016

    Our alternative spring break trips allow students to immerse themselves in another cities 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 thier 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 hours of service work with nonprofits.

    Application Due: January 29, 2016 by 5:00 pm

    Apply for Spring 2016


    Trip Options:

    Detroit, MI - Urban Perspective

    This trip will explore a variety of issues within the Detroit community, including food, housing, healthcare, and jobs from an urban perspective. Participants will be housed at a home owned by Cass Community Social Services and will complete a wide variety of service projects with this organization. The service projects are centered around the day-to-day operations of Cass and could include 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. You’ll have a chance to see a lot of the city and students will come out with a holistic idea of what urban development looks like.

    Selma, AL - Civil Rights and Housing

    This trip will explore 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 will partner with Blackbelt & Central Alabama Housing, and possibly a local community center. Participants will 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 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.

    Applications for the Alternative Fall Break 2016 trip will be available September 2016.

  • Alternative Break Archive

    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.