Become a Leader

There are many opportunities for University of Utah students and staff members to become involved in Alternative Breaks. We depend strongly on volunteer leadership to sustain the program, build the team, and create strong Alternative Break experiences.

Join Us As a Site Leader!

If you have participated in an Alternative Break trip, you are eligible to apply for a site leader position! Spend a year planning a volunteer trip for ten to eighteen other students around an issue you are passionate about.  Site leaders are paired with a staff partner to support them through the process as they learn skills such as conflict resolution, community development theory, inclusion practices, and explore how social justice relates to volunteerism both locally and nationally.

Time Commitment: 5-10 hours a week

What we look for in our Site Leaders:

  • Positive, Enthusiastic, and Encouraging Attitudes
  • Mature, Responsible, Inclusive, passionate individuals
  • Students whose commitments, class schedules, and work arrangements allow them to fully commit to the program and its requirements.

How to Apply

Site Leader positions for 2019-2020 Alternative Fall, Spring, and Weekend Break trips will open in February 2019.

Students must have participated in a University of Utah Alternative Break trip in the past in order to be an eligible applicant for a Site Leader position.

Contact Justin Swanger 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 mentorship connection, and support their student throughout the year in planning, executing, and facilitating a volunteer trip for 10-18 other students the week of Fall or Spring Break.  As this is a serious professional development opportunity, we encourage staff to have supervisor support for their participation. Supervisors are encouraged release their staff with pay for the week of fall/spring break to participate in this program. 


Benefits to Staff/Faculty Participation:

    • One-on-one mentorship experience
    • Meet, network, and connect with other University of Utah staff/faculty who are interested in student development
    • Professional development opportunity and resume builder
    • Recruiting tool for your program/center/college
    • Free travel with students to a volunteer site outside of northern Utah
    • Hands-on learning/volunteer experience around a complex social issue
    • Ongoing training topics include:
      • Social Justice and Diversity facilitation
      • Quality components of an Alternative Break and active citizenship
      • Crisis Management and conflict mediation

Commitment: (6-7 month commitment)

    • Group meetings twice a month with Alternative Breaks staff and students (3 hrs a month)
    • Weekly meeting with student site leader (1/2 hr a week)
    • Pre-trip meeting attendance with participants prior to departure (3 hrs total)
    • Overnight, weekend retreat attendance out of state (AFB Retreat June 1st-3rd; ASB Retreat Sept. 7-9th)
    • Occasional one on one's with Alternative Breaks staff as necessary
    • Attendance on trip in its entirety over Fall/Spring Break

Application Materials for Fall Break are due May 9, 2018 and for Spring Break are due July 20, 2018.

Staff/Faculty Partner Application

Staff/Faculty Partner Policies and Guidelines *Please review prior to submitting an application

Staff Partner Letter of Support

Applications need to be submitted to or Union, Rm 101 attn. Justin Swanger.

Please email  Justin Swanger for application questions.

We depend on our University of Utah students to 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 a site and topic, fill out the trip proposal application below!  New trips created through this process include but are not limited to: Santa Cruz, CA "Marine Conservation," Denver, CO "Women and Poverty," Vancouver, CA "Holistic Health," and Las Vegas, "Addiction."  

Fill out the trip proposal below and return to Justin Swanger  New trip proposals for the 2019-2020 year are due in January 2019.

Trip Proposal Application

Last Updated: 8/31/18