Become a Leader
There are many opportunities for University of Utah students, staff, and faculty members to become involved in Alternative Breaks. We depend strongly on volunteer leadership to sustain the program, build the team, and create quality Alt Breaks experiences.
Student Site Leaders
Applications will open in March 2023 for Site Leader positions.
A full list of positions and responsibilities can be found in the application.
Apply NOW to serve as a Spring 2023 Alternative Breaks Staff/Faculty Partner!
If you're interested in joining our program, receiving a unique mentorship and community-engaged experience on campus, and exploring a topic of justice you're passionate about, consider applying to become a part of our team! Our 2022-2023 Leadership Team applications are now closed.
Any questions can be directed to Grace Hymel, Alternative Breaks Program Manager.
Join us as a Site Leader!
Spend a year planning an immersive, justice-based community engagement experience for ten other students around a topic you’re passionate about. Site Leaders are current U of U students that are paired with a Staff/Faculty Partner to support them through the process as they learn skills such as conflict resolution, community development theory, inclusion practices, and explore how justice relates to volunteerism both locally and nationally.
Time Commitment: 4-6 hours a week (may fluctuate during the year, with increased hours as your Alternative Break approaches)
What we look for in our Site Leaders
- Positive, enthusiastic, and encouraging attitudes
- Mature, responsible, inclusive, passionate individuals
- A willingness to question, explore, critique, and grow the program, their AB experience, concepts of Justice, and themselves
- Students whose commitments, class schedules, and work arrangements allow them to fully commit to the program and its requirements
Please contact Grace Hymel with questions.
What is a Staff/Faculty Partner?
This is a unique, one-on-one mentorship experience for staff or faculty interested in student development. Staff and faculty are matched with a student based on the likelihood of a productive and meaningful mentorship connection, and support their student throughout the year in planning, executing, and facilitating a community engagement experience for 8-10 other students the week of Fall or Spring Break or over a weekend break. As this is a serious professional development opportunity, we encourage staff and faculty to have supervisor support for their participation. Supervisors are encouraged to release their staff/faculty with pay for the duration of the experience to participate in this program.
Benefits of Staff/Faculty Participation
- One-on-one mentorship experience with a student leader
- Participation, travel, and cost of AB experience is free
- Meet and network with Staff/Faculty around campus
- Immerse yourself in social or environmental issue that you are interested in
- Recruit students to your program or college
- Recruiting tool for your program/center/college
- Co-facilitate an immersive student leader experience
- Professional development through ongoing training topics include:
- Social Justice and Diversity facilitation
- Quality components of an Alternative Break and active engagement
- Crisis Management and Conflict mediation
(4-6 month commitment)
Applicants are encouraged to carefully consider the timelines of involvement for each Alternative Break cycle (fall/spring) in accordance with their own personal and professional schedules. Please be advised that applicants who express interest in serving as a Fall 2022 Staff/Faculty Partner will be contacted for an interview toward the end of June. Those who express interest in Spring 2023 will be contacted toward the end of of the Summer 2022 semester.
- Attend the AB training retreat. Retreat is mandatory.
- Fall Break retreat (August 12th - 14th)
- Spring Break retreat (November 11th -13th)
- Attend Faculty/Staff Partner trainings every week for duration of commitment. Meetings are approximately 1.5 hours and the time is determined by staff/faculty and student schedules. 90% or greater attendance is mandatory.
- Meet with your student Site Leader once a week for the duration of the program in order to build a strong working/mentoring relationship.
- Assist and mentor Site Leader in pre-break planning activities, contacting agencies, addressing conflict, planning logistics, budgeting, etc.
- Help student Site Leader plan and attend 3 required pre-departure meetings with participants.
- Manage and track budget, and also administer funds and cash advances appropriate before, during, and after the AB experience
- Follow and implement policies and guidelines set by the Alternative Breaks program
- Occasional social activities or post-break engagements are expected.
- Mandatory attendance at the Reorientation event for Fall Break (Nov 4th, 2022; 5-7pm) and Spring Break (April 7th, 2023; 5-7pm)
Application Materials for Fall Break are due June 15th, 2022 and for Spring Break are due August 15th, 2022.
Please contact Grace Hymel with questions.
Alternative Breaks is a program and a national movement with a long history of inaccessibility and exclusion. We encourage all interested students, staff, and faculty to review our “Access & Inclusion” page to understand the historical and current contexts of our work related to creating greater access to and building an intentionally inclusive community within Alternative Breaks.
We’d also encourage you to reach out directly to Grace Hymel, Alternative Breaks program manager, to address any individual concerns you have or accommodations we can provide to support your involvement in the AB program.
Have an idea and passion for an Alternative Breaks experience that we don't yet offer? The Alternative Breaks program is always looking to develop new, diverse opportunities for students to engage in Justice-based learning. Please email Grace Hymel to begin the process of submitting an Alternative Breaks Proposal. As a program, we're particularly interested in introducing experiences centered around the topics of ability and access, criminal justice, and labor and racial discrimination. Of course, we're excited to meet student passion wherever it lies!
We depend on our University of Utah students' leadership and creativity to take us to the next level. If you are a student who has been on an Alternative Break trip and have a new idea for an Alternative Breaks experience, please fill out the proposal application below! New experiences created through this process include, but are not limited to: "Marine Conservation" in Santa Cruz, CA; "Women and Poverty" in Denver, CO (now called "Defeminizing Poverty"); "Holistic Health" in Vancouver, CA (now called "Community Health"); "Addiction" in Las Vegas, NV (now called "Youth Empowerment"); and "Indigeneity" in the Colorado Plateau.
Fill out the trip proposal form below and return it to Grace Hymel. Proposals for new Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 experiences are due by February 5, 2021.
Though it should not sway a decision regarding your application, our program is interested in developing and supporting experiences related to, among other topics, ability and disability (both seen and unseen), racial justice, and criminal justice.
Marquee image credit: Abrielle Fulwider, Housing Justice, Spring 2019