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AlternativeFallBreak InfographicNinety-eight students will spend their fall break helping the impoverished, feeding the hungry, assisting people with disabilities, and providing other forms of service in seven cities. These Alternative Fall Break trips, coordinated through the Center for Leadership and Service, help fulfill the center’s mission to educate and engage all students to lead and serve in the global community.

The program kicks off Thursday when student work groups leave for four-day trips to Atlanta; Charlotte and Durham, North Carolina; Indianapolis; Louisville, Kentucky; Memphis; and Selma, Alabama.

The entourage includes eighty-four student participants and fourteen student trip leaders.

Trip leader William Hogue, a sophomore in supply chain management, is excited about unique work that his group will be doing in Atlanta.

“Our trip is focusing on issues facing the refugee community in Atlanta,” Hogue said. “This is a topic that has recently gained international attention due to the crisis in Syria, so I believe it is even more important to learn more about it. I hope we are able to learn more about the issues that refugees face when leaving their home country, and I hope to have an impact on the refugee community in Atlanta in whatever way we can.”

In addition to learning more about the refugee experience, Hogue said preparing for the trip has helped him hone his leadership and planning skills.

“I believe all of this is great real-world experience that will help me after graduation in a way that classroom learning never could,” he said.

Here’s a look at the other work students will be doing:

Charlotte: Health and Wellness through the Lifespan

Students will work with people who have intellectual and physical disabilities as well as children suffering from illness and living in poverty.

Durham: Community Development

Students will partner with organizations serving many different aspects of communities, including community food security, housing construction, and community greening.

Indianapolis: Disability/Ability Awareness

Students will assist organizations that serve individuals with disabilities.

Louisville: Problems Facing America’s Youth

Participants will pair with organizations that combat issues facing America’s youth, including poverty and education disparities.

Memphis: Homelessness, Hunger, and Urban Poverty

Students will work with organizations that seek to lessen the effects of hunger, homelessness, and urban poverty.

Selma: Freedom Isn’t Free: Civil Rights and Poverty

Students will engage in service aimed at uplifting a community that has seen both struggle and promise throughout history. The goal of the trip is to extend awareness about ongoing civil rights and human rights struggles.

During last year’s Alternative Fall Break trips, participants collectively served 1,588 hours, and organizers expect this year’s students will be just as busy.

The center also organizes the university’s Alternative Spring Break trips. This year, six trips will be offered from March 14 through 18. Students can apply for these trips in January.

For more information on the Center for Leadership and Service Alternative Break program, visit the center’s website.