Alternative Spring Break

Travel, Learn and Serve During Your Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is a highly immersive week of service projects, leadership-building and relationship-building. It gives college students the chance to make an impact on communities around the U.S. and learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing the country. 

Break A Difference (B.A.D) is committed to the continual development of meaningful volunteer experiences and supporting our community partners in the work they do year round. Working with community partners such as United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs, and other local non-profits B.A.D strives to create sustainable impact. We are committed to creating a safe space for self-exploration, team building and leadership development. Our special programming provides significant reflective opportunities that cultivate memorable experiences for each individual volunteer.

For more than seven years, United Way has provided students with an opportunity to give back during their spring break. Through unique collaborations between United Way and partners like Deloitte, MTV and Participant Media, hundreds of students were able to volunteer through life-changing United Way Alternative Spring Breaks in 2013. Since its inception, over 2,500 students have traded in their swim suits for tool belts and participated in Alternative Spring Break in dozens of communities across the country, contributing more than 77,000 hours of volunteer service.

For more information, visit: United Way ASB

Who can participate:

Responsible young adults age 18 or older can take part. You can sign up on your own or with a group of friends.


ASB trips range from $275-$395 and other cities may vary. Click on each location for more details. Note: transportation to/from the ASB location is not included.

The cost includes the following:     ◦3 meals per day     ◦Housing     ◦Local transportation to/from service sites     ◦Local transportation to/from local transportation hubs during arrival & departure     ◦Project supplies     ◦Team building & reflection activities     ◦Excursions to nearby attractions

What types of service projects might I do?

Each ASB focuses on some of the issues most relevant to that community. Service projects range from building houses and maintaining shelters to promoting positive youth development and cultivating gardens. Click on each location for more information.

How to register:

United Way ASB Registration

Spring 2017 ASB Outline

For more information, please contact: 
United Way Alternative Spring Break
Charee L. Grover Email:
Phone#: 202-400-2257 ext:706

Spring 2017 Trips

(these are not NVC sponsored trips, but are endorsed by NVC).  

Baltimore, MD    |   Break A Difference (B•A•D) programs are offered in a variety of cities across the nation. Our Baltimore site tackles a multitude of causes including poverty, homelessness, and their environmental effects on the city. Volunteers will staff food pantry banks, upgrade transitional housing facilities, and help to maintain shelters while getting a better understanding on the problems affecting the city.


El Paso, TX    |    The United Way of El Paso County's Alternative Spring Break (ASB) Program is a service project that invites college students across the country to experience the U.S - Mexico border in El Paso. Participants build homes for families while learning about the culture and history of a unique and vibrant community that dates back to the 16th century.


Fairview & Williamson County, TN    |    On this ASB, you'll get the chance to work with subsidized housing complexes to ensure residents have access to sustainable, renewable and healthy food. ASB participants will stay at Camp Marymount in rural Williamson County and will help United Way establish a community garden in the town of Fairview. As a team, you'll work with UT Extension Service and local farmers on the overall garden plans, build raised beds, till the soil and other tasks as weather allows. We’ll also be partnering with the local Boys & Girls Club to teach a proven curriculum “The Great Food Race.”


Fort Hood, TX    |    Break A Difference (B•A•D) programs are offered in a variety of cities across the nation. The world’s largest military base, Fort Hood, is the core of this Central Texas community. This ASB will focus not only on providing direct services to military-connected children, but also to increasing volunteers’ understanding of the challenges and benefits military service provides to families.


Newark, NJ    |    Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg and other philanthropists have dedicated millions of dollars to transform the educational experience for Newark youth. Break’rs provide enrichment services in after-school computer labs, arts & crafts, homework help and physical education programming. In addition, a trip to New York City allows everyone to get a taste of the Big Apple.


New Orleans, LA    |   Over the last decade, as New Orleans has rebuilt after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, an array of initiatives have developed not only to replace what was lost, but to build some of the supports that didn’t exist prior. ASB participants may help with urban gardens, youth development programs and environmental projects that help families keep more of their earnings while also reducing their carbon footprint.


New York City, NY    |    Break A Difference (B•A•D) programs are offered in a variety of cities across the nation. At our New York City site, volunteers will assist at various agencies dedicated to preventing homelessness and reducing poverty. Moving beyond the standard tourist sections, Break’rs will explore a bit of what it takes to make ends meet in the nation’s largest city.


San Francisco Bay Area, CA    |    Break A Difference (B•A•D) programs are offered in a variety of cities across the nation. At the San Francisco Bay Area site we will be focusing on education, rebuilding, and environmental efforts. Break’rs will lead youth development activities to enrich learning for youth and/or help rebuild homes destroyed by recent earthquakes and forest fires.  


ASB Washington, DC    |    Break A Difference (B•A•D) programs are offered in a variety of cities across the nation. Washington, DC not only houses our nation’s Capital and White House, it houses our largest Alternative Spring Break program. Break’rs will take programming to the next level for youth in many ways, including homework help, arts & crafts, and athletic activities.  

Student Life Calendar



Misconduct or Grievance?

If you have any misconduct or a grievance to report, please visit the:

Student Toolbox