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Seventy students, along with a handful of faculty and staff members, will spend their spring break engaged in collaborative community service with organizations in five communities across the southeastern United States.

Another group of UT students will travel to Prague to participate in international service. The group will work on projects related to social justice education and the prevention of human trafficking.

AlternativeSpringBreak v0.1Students depart for Prague on March 12; the groups working domestically leave on Sunday, March 13.

After spring break, April 16–17, a third group of students will participate in a local Alternative Break weekend trip focusing on the theme of community development. Participants will serve at the Knoxville Habitat for Humanity Restore and Knoxville Earth Fest.

Alternative Break Program efforts are coordinated through UT’s Center for Leadership and Service to help fulfill the center’s mission of educating and engaging all students to lead and serve in the global community.

Adam LaClair, a senior majoring in mathematics, is excited to bring the Volunteer spirit to Savannah, Georgia, where his team will focus on animal outreach at the Oatland Wildlife Center. LaClair previously participated in two Alternative Fall Break trips focusing on themes of reconstructing and rebuilding in Louisville, Kentucky, and food insecurity in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“Being a UT Volunteer means making a meaningful difference on campus and in the community in whatever manner feels right for you. These trips allow participants to be this difference in a community, even if only for a couple of days,” LaClair said. “But, more importantly, the trips help enthuse and guide students into making a difference in the UT community after returning home.”

Here’s a look at the various Alternative Spring Break projects:

Urban Youth Development—St. Louis, Missouri: Students will volunteer with Kingdom House, a nonprofit organization that provides services for youth of all ages.

Marginalized Populations and Inclusion—Jackson, Mississippi: Students will volunteer with Stewpot Community Services which provides food, clothing, shelter and care for individuals.

Hispanic Communities and Health—Columbia, South Carolina: Students will work at the Good Samaritan Clinic which offers free health and dental care primarily to the Hispanic community.

Rural Poverty—Greenville, Mississippi: Students will volunteer with the WWISCAA, a multicounty initiative established to fight poverty in the Mississippi Delta.

International Service Immersion Experience—Prague: Eleven students and three staff members will participate in this trip, which is being coordinated by the Center for Leadership and Service in collaboration with UTK Cru and Collegiate Abbey.

Since its inception twenty-three years ago, the Alternative Breaks Program has offered more than 100 trips to 2,350 students, faculty, and staff, and logged more than 33,500 service hours—which equates to donating $755,425 back to the communities served.

Keep up with all five trips by following the UT Alternative Breaks Blog.


Katherine Saxon (, 865-974-8365)