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Pushing Boundaries and Creating Change

East Carolina University Alternative Break Experiences (ABE) create active citizens, leaders, and advocates for lasting social change.

ABE Application are open from September 30, 2016 – November 30, 2016.

Connect. Take Action. Create Change. 

ABE Student Leadership Applications – September 30th – October 12th

Great way to gain leadership skills and make a difference!

Want to learn more? What to hear from past ABE participants? Attend one of our upcoming ABE information sessions.

  • October 24th 5-6pm SRC 202
  • November 14th 5-6pm MSC 221
  • November 15th from 5-6pm in SRC 202

Spring 2017 ABE Opportunities 


Affordable Housing - Habitat for Humanity (POSTPONED TO SPRING 2018)

The CLCE will be postponing our relief efforts with Habitat for Humanity for Spring 2017 and will focus on working with local/regional communities to support Disaster Relief needs from Hurricane Matthew.

Disaster Relief with Eastern North Carolina

  • Sponsored by: Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement
  • Location:  Eastern North Carolina
  • Dates: March 5th -9th  (5 days)
  • Cost: $150.00
  • Limited Spots: 8-10 students, 1 student leader
  • Description: Volunteers will be working with local communities who were impacted by Hurricane Matthew.  Students gain a better understanding of the local communities and connections to natural disaster and understand the importance of community service before during and after a significant natural disaster. Students will learn new skills, and meet other civic minded college students, as well as local community leaders.  Students will also reflect on their experience and how it applies to their communities, ECU, and beyond.
  • Contact:  For further information, please contact Lauren Howard, Assistant Director for the CLCE at howardl16@ecu.edu

Atlantic Beach: Environmental Justice and Economic Impact

  • Sponsored by: Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement
  • Location: Atlantic Beach (Carteret County), North Carolina
  • Dates: March 5th -9th (5 days)
  • Cost: $150.00 (cost includes travel, lodging, service activities, and most food)
  • Limited Spots: 8-12 students; 1 student leader 
  • Description: This ABE will serve and learn with the North Carolina Coastal Federation, Camp Albemarle, and a few other community organizations. This ABE is very special to East Carolina University because it focuses on service and regional transformation through learning and service on our coast. ECU students have spent over five years partnering with our coastal partners to address community issues facing the NC coast. Service will consist of mostly environmental work which can include: oyster habitat restoration, rain water gardens with local elementary school, beach and camp clean up, and other project maintenance needed.
  • Contact: For further information, please contact Nichelle Shuck, Associate Director for Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement at shuckn@ecu.edu.

Community Focus on Health and Wellness

  • Sponsored by: Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement
  • Location:  Roanoke, Virginia   
  • Dates: March 5th -11th (7 days)
  • Cost: $350.00 (cost includes travel, lodging, service activities, and most food)
  • Limited Spots: 8-10 students, 1 student lead
  • Description: East Carolina University students will partner SERCAP's VFC Alternative Break Program which matches college student volunteers with communities in need of assistance with water and wastewater system improvements or economic development projects. The VFC Alternative Break Program recently established the medical track, an alternative break option which allows students interested in pursuing a career in the medical field an opportunity to volunteer in a medical setting. Students will be doing a variety of service projects related to the medical field. Students will have the opportunity to engage in service with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and various civic minded groups dedicated to improving the quality of health for individuals in the community. Students will participate in community gatherings hosted by various organizations.
  • Contact:  For further information, please contact Lauren Howard, Assistant Director for the CLCE at howardl16@ecu.edu

EC Scholar Sophomore Impact Trip

  • Sponsored by:  EC Scholars Program in the Honors College
  • Location:  Washington DC
  • Dates:  March 4th -7th  (4days)
  • Cost:  No cost, ONLY AVAIABLE for sophomore EC Scholars
  • Limited Spots:  Required trip for sophomore EC Scholars
  • Description:   All sophomore EC Scholars are required to participate in this educational and service experience.  Trip highlights will include attending an educational presentation at the Pentagon hosted by ECU alumni and participation in a local service experience.
  • Contact:  Diane Majewski, majewskid@ecu.edu

Exploring and Serving within the Appalachian Community

  • Sponsored by: Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement
  • Location:  Haysi, Virginia   
  • Dates: March 5th -11th  (7 days)
  • Cost: $350(cost includes travel, lodging, service activities, and most food)
  • Limited Spots: 8-10students, 1 student lead
  • Description: East Carolina University students will partner SERCAP's VFC Alternative Break Program which matches college student volunteers with communities in need of assistance with water and wastewater system improvements or economic development projects. These volunteers assist in a variety of ways such as painting houses and other buildings, digging trenches and laying pipes, and rehabilitating and weatherizing houses. This ABE will partner with the Town of Haysi, Virginia. The town of Haysi is surrounded by the scenic Appalachian Mountains with a clear view of the historic Cumberland Mountain range. Haysi volunteers will be sleeping at a local church. Students will be serving outside and working on masonry type and landscaping projects. These community projects will provide community members would great benefits in the future. Students will be encourage to immerse themselves in the Appalachian an participate in community gatherings hosted by various organizations, and enjoy dancing with a local square dance group.
  • Contact:  For further information, please contact Lauren Howard, Assistant Director for the CLCE at howardl16@ecu.edu

Greek Life ABE: Urban Poverty

  • Sponsored by: Office of Greek Life
  • Location: Washington DC
  • Dates: March 5th -10th  (6 days)
  • Cost: $300.00 (cost includes travel, lodging, food and activities)
  • Limited spots: 9 Greek-affiliated students; 1 Greek-affiliated student leader
  • Description: This ABE experience will serve a variety of community organizations in the greater Washington DC area. Participants will engage in two different services projects each day that address and meet the needs of the DC population. These projects range from working in soup kitchens, to working with the elderly, children and/or the homeless. There will opportunities to site-see and experience local restaurants in the DC area.
  • Contact: For more information, please contact Jess Turuc, Assistant Director of Greek Life at turucj16@ecu.edu.

Greenville Staycation: Strengthening Our Community, Our Future (Youth & Nutrition)

  • Sponsored by: Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement
  • Location: Greenville, NC
  • Dates: March 4th -8th  (5 days)
  • Cost: $80.00 (cost includes travel, lodging, service activities, and most food)
  • Limited Spots: 8-10 students, 1 student leader
  • Description: Think local, serve local, and make local change in our community by being a part of the ABE Staycation. This ABE very special to East Carolina University and our community because it focuses on service and regional transformation through learning and service at a time when many of our students leave to venture home.  This is a new opportunity that will allow for our on-going partners to continue to work and deepen our partnership with ECU. Our need for change doesn’t stop because ECU is on spring break. Service will range from working with local youth centers, Campus Kitchen partners, our local shelter, and local community gardens. 
  • Contact:  For further information, please contact Nichelle Shuck, Associate Director for Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement at shuckn@ecu.edu.

Natural Resource Management with Adventure Leadership

  • Sponsored by: Campus Recreation and Wellness Adventure Leadership Program
  • Location:  Pilot Mountain, NC; Grayson Highlands State Park, VA; Boone, NC
  • Dates: March 4th -11th (8 days)
  • Cost: $250.00 (cost includes travel, lodging, adventure activities, service activities, and most food)
  • Limited Spots: 10 students; 1 student leader
  • Description: East Carolina University students will partner Local state Parks and National Forest in North Carolina to help keep our natural areas beautiful and accessible for all those that utilize these outdoor spaces. This trip will give students the opportunity to go rock climbing, rafting, caving and do a multi-day backpacking trip on a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Throughout this trip students with learn about Leave No Trace policies and good outdoor husbandry skills. Students will have fun and have the opportunity to give back the natural areas that East Carolina University Adventure Leadership program frequents. Students will perform service activities in the form of trail maintenance and improvements, Campgroup cleanup, and river clean ups. Adventure Leadership will be providing experience guides and will also be contracting out local businesses to make the experience even more fun. Students should be prepared to camp in tents, hike 6-8 miles in a day, carry heavy packs, crawl around in caves and brave the rapids. This will be a fun and rewarding experience for any student who loves the outdoors and is looking for something different this spring break.
  • Contact:  For further information, please contact Adrienne Fike, Assistant  Director Adventure Leader at fikea16@ecu.edu

Re-building Community: Poverty and Homelessness

  • Sponsored by: Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement
  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Dates: March 5th -11th (7 days)
  • Cost: $350.00 (cost includes travel, lodging, service activities, and most food)
  • Limited Spots: 7-9 students, 2 student leaders
  • Description: This ABE will serve and learn with several affiliates’ of Catholic Charities and other local non-profit partners that address issues of poverty and homelessness. This opportunity will allow for students to learn about poverty and homelessness in an urban setting, while asking students to think about different types of service (indirect, direct, and advocacy). Service will be with a variety of agencies through Catholic Charities and much more!
  • Contact: For further information, please contact Nichelle Shuck, Associate Director for Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement at shuckn@ecu.edu.

Reclaiming Future Generations: Youth Empowerment and the Justice System

  • Sponsored by: Ledonia Wright Cultural Center
  • Location: Columbia, SC
  • Date: March 5th – 9th (5 days)
  • Cost: $175 (cost includes travel, lodging, service activities, and most food)
  • Limited spots: 8 students, 1 student leader
  • Description: This ABE experience will focus on assisting the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in fulfilling its mission to reclaim juveniles through prevention, community programs, education, and rehabilitative services in the least restrictive environment possible. DJJ is responsible for providing custodial care and rehabilitation for the state’s children who are incarcerated, on probation or parole, or in community placement for a criminal or status offense. Participants will be providing services as teacher’s aides and possibly recreational therapy, and will gain an understanding of the experience of youth involved in the juvenile justice system and connections to larger issues of in society.
  • Contact: For further information, please contact Dr. Mark Villacorta, LWCC Associate Director at villacortam15@ecu.edu

Serving the LGBT community: Insights and Experiences in Atlanta, Georgia

  • Sponsored by: The LGBT Resource Office
  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dates: March 5th -9th  (5 days)
  • Cost: $300.00 (cost includes travel, lodging, service activities, and most food. Scholarships are available that will reduce the cost to $75)
  • Limited Spots: 8 students; 2 staff leaders
  • Description: This ABE will allow students to experience the services and support available to the LGBT community in a major metropolitan area.  Working with Lost-n-Found Youth, a non-profit which assists homeless youth from 13 – 25 in stabilizing their lives, including preparing them for permanent housing and stable employment, participants will learn about homelessness in the LGBT community and the difference one person can make. This opportunity will allow for students to witness firsthand the impact of homophobia and homelessness in an urban setting, while asking students to think about different types of service (indirect, direct, and advocacy).
  • Contact: For further information, please contact Mark Rasdorf, Associate Director for the LGBT Resource Office at rasdorfm@ecu.edu.

Application and Selection Process

  • Step One: LEARN - Attend an ABE Information Session, ask a past participant, join the ABE OrgSync Portal. This is where communication will occur between site leaders, staff, and students before and after the alternative break experience..
  • Step Two: APPLY - Complete an ABE Application.
    • Application are due by November 30th
  • Step Three: COMMIT - If selected, students will receive an Official Application Approval letter. Application MUST be approved; you will receive an official e-mail from your department requesting deposit. If selected, a non-refundable $50 Reservation Fee is due within two weeks of acceptance.  Selected participants will have the option to select a payment method. Payments will be collected at the Mendenhall Student Center Ticket Office.  Students will have the following options but all payments must be paid in full by February 3, 2017
    • Option A: Pay in Full
    • Option B: Students will select a payment plan that works best for them
  • Step Four: PREPARE to PUSH BOUNDARIES! Students must complete all ABE paperwork and attend ABE pre/post service sessions. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please contact the sponsoring department contact.

Step Five: CREATE CHANGE! Students will return safely back to campus and be asked to reflect and share their ABE with other students, join the Voyage Beyond Service (ABE Student Organization), and continue to create change in their home communities.

Portal Information

Description

The ABE program is centered on providing ECU students with the opportunity to engage in meaningful service work during Fall, Spring, Summer, or Winter Break. While the type of service work may vary, the program is designed to explore social issues, serve, and make a difference in our world.

Category

Alternative Spring Break