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Alternative Spring Break


Break Away from the norm and join SHSU ASB for an unforgettable Spring Break!

About the Program

SHSU's Alternative Spring Break program (ASB) places teams of students in communities to engage in service and experiential learning during spring break. The teams are exposed to complex social and cultural issues that aim to heighten social awareness, encourage life-long active citizenship, and promote the advocacy of social change within communities. A few examples of issues addressed by ASB trips include literacy, poverty, racism, hunger, and the environment. Teams are led by student Site Leaders who guide group development before, during, and after the experience.

ASB Informational Meetings

Come learn more about SHSU Alternative Spring Break! These brief meetings will provide students with trip details, including cost, and requirements for applicants. Students and staff will share their ASB experiences from the past and what future participants can expect for ASB 2015!

Monday, October 27
Tuesday, October 28
5-6 PM, LSC 331
4-5 PM, LSC 331
Wednesday, December 3
Thursday, December 4
4-5 PM, LSC 331
5-6 PM, LSC 331
Tuesday, January 20
Wednesday, January 21
4-5 PM, LSC 331
5-6 PM, LSC 331


Spring 2015 ASB Trips: March 8 - 14

Karing Kats with Passionate Hearts
Camp Fire Heart - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Sunday, March 8 – Saturday, March 14, 2015


Bring your passion to Camp Fire Heart in Oklahoma City. The team will focus on children and youth by creating a positive social environment with students from Oklahoma's largest school district. A unique camp experience combined with excited Bearkats can only lead to a lasting impact.

Join in to explore the mysteries of invention and unfold the magic of creativity. Participants will assist with different activities, such as, rock climbing, boating, fishing, zip lining, and a low elements challenge courses. Beautification projects may also occur for this team to leave a lasting legacy. Set your passion on fire!

Serving On the Other Side of the Mississippi
Community Collaborations International - Biloxi, Mississippi

Sunday, March 8 – Saturday, March 14, 2015


Join us as we travel to the shores of Mississippi to spend a week serving on the Bay of Biloxi. The team selected for this trip will partner with Community Collaborations International to focus on hunger and homelessness. Participants will be engaged in service projects with the Twelve Baskets Food Bank, where we will sort and distribute food and other donations. The team will also assist the Seashore Mission of Biloxi, a homeless shelter in which participants will do some possible construction and help the homeless that stay here.

The goal is to partner with these organizations to eradicate these social issues through education and service. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore the beautiful 89 acre CC International site on the north shore of the Bay of Biloxi and possibly experience the fresh costal cuisine of Mississippi.

Transportation, lodging, and meals will be included in the cost of the trip.  Expenses such as entertainment, tourist attractions, and souvenirs will be the participant’s responsibility and discretion. 


Application Information

Student Application

Student applications are due by 5:00 PM on Friday, January 30, 2015 in the Center for Leadership & Service, LSC 324A. 


Faculty/Staff Participant Application

One faculty or staff member will be selected for each trip. Faculty/Staff Applications are due by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 in the Center for Leadership & Service, LSC 324A. 

SHSU ASB History


Kats Helping Kids: San Antonio, TX - The team partnered with City Year - San  Antonio to serve at the Boy Scouts Spring Break camp.  Participants helped lead different activity stations such as archery, crafts, fishing, and games.  The team focused on creating positive social interactions with the students attending the camp and were able to help them stay engaged during their break from school.  Click here to view the website.

        Site Leaders: Tara Cobler and Sarah Hagler

Faculty/Staff Participant: Dr. Miki Henderson, Dept. of Language, Literacy, & Special Populations

Over the Sands & Through the Streams: Port St. Joe, FL - The team focused on nature conservancy  and ecological preservation through service projects that included beach cleaning, trail clearing and maintenance, facility maintenance, and the preservation of wildlife habitats. Participants were able to explore the beautiful beaches of Port. St. Joe. Click here to view the website.

               Site Leaders: Vili Trayanova and Anthony Bagwell

               Faculty/Staff Participant: Erika Wright, Lowman Student Center

Rocking, Rolling, and Serving!: Memphis, TN - Participants partnered with the United Methodist  Neighborhood Centers of Memphis, Inc. and St. Matthews United Methodist Church for a week of tackling poverty, hunger, and homelessness within the city of Memphis.  The team engaged in various service projects, including working in a food pantry and thrift store, working with homeless veterans, and other projects. Participants were also able to tour Memphis and indulge in the rich historical culture of the city. Click here to view the website.

               Site Leaders: Bianca Victor and Keenan Jones

               Faculty/Staff Participant: Demetrius Johnson, Residence Life


Camp Restore: New Orleans, LA - The team spent the week partnering with Camp Restore, a recovery assistance ministry that works to rebuild homes, churches, schools and the communities that were ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Porjects included house restoration and working at a local food bank. Click here to view website.

     Site Leaders: Michael Doherty and Shannon Jackson

     Faculty/Staff Participant: Eddie Gisemba, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Initiative

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge: Eureka Springs, AR - The team spent the week engaging in cleaning and construction projects around the Refuge. One significant project involved building a large platform for some of the large cats to use in their enclosure. Turpentine Creek is a 500-acre refuge for abused, neglected, and abandoned big cats, but is also home to a number of other animals. Click here to view the website.

     Site Leaders: Sarah Hagler and Tracy Szymczak

     Faculty/Staff Participant: Dana Grant, Residence Life


Cherokee Nation: Eucha, OK - Students engaged in a cultural service experience in the heart of the Cherokee Nation. Service projects included painting and refurbishing a local park and installing drywall to a new community center. Students were also able to visit a replica Cherokee village, a Cherokee museum, and a church service spoken in Cherokee. Click here to view website.

     Site Leader: Tracy Szymczak

     Faculty/Staff Participant:Tracy Szymczak, Center for Leadership & Service

Cumberland Trails Conference: Soddy-Daisy, TN - Students helped preserve and build a portion of the Cumberland Trails. Service included clearing the duff, moving rocks, removing trees, and other tasks needed. Significant hiking was involved and a day off was provided mid-week for site-seeing in the local area. Click here to view website.

     Site Leaders: Michael Doherty and Michael Oyeteju

     Faculty/Staff Participant: Andrea Rabon, Student Money Management Center

Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge: Lake Charles, LA -Students worked on several houses in the area with the Habitat for Humanity organization that were in various stages of completion. Service included, painting, installing soffets, drywall, appliances, decking a roof, etc. Students also attended a ground breaking ceremony and were able to meet Habitat Homeowners. Click here to view website.

     Site Leaders: Nevate Bailey and Sarah Hagler

     Faculty/Staff Participant: Meredith Conrey, Center for Leadership & Service


Hands on Mississippi: Gulfport, MS - Students engaged in relief work to repair the community from the effects of devastating hurricanes. Service projects included gutting the inside of a house, painting house exteriors, assisting elderly citizens with yardwork, and shutting down Horn Island for species preservation.

     Site Leader: Christina Smith

     Faculty/Staff Participant: Tracy Szymczak, Center for Leadership & Service

Katrina's Kids: New Orleans, LA - Students worked with various Head Start Programs in the New Orleans area. Activities included working with local children in after school programs.

     Site Leader: Erin Perkins

     Faculty/Staff Participant: Chuck Collins, Student Activities


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Site Leader?

A Site Leader is a student responsible for the overall coordination of the ASB trip. Site Leaders are responsible for ensuring the accomplishment of the planned objectives of specific trips with everyone involved (participants, community organization representatives, faculty/staff participants). 

2. What is included in the trip cost?

The trip cost includes transportation, lodging, and most meals.  Out of pocket expenses can include any leisure activities or meals outside of lodging facility. 

3. How are applicants selected?

Applicants are required to respond to 4 questions that are part of the application process. Selections will be made based upon the written responses.

4. Is ASB a Religious/Spiritual "Mission" trip?

No, ASB focuses on community service and service-learning.

5. Will I earn"service-hours" for my college, student organization, or class by participating in ASB?

No. We don't provide "credit" for service hours because we want students to participate with ASB simply because they want to, rather than participating because they have a need to earn hours.

6. How many students will be selected for an ASB Trip?

A maximum of 8 students for each trip. We send out teams of 11 in a 15 passenger van. 8 student participants, 1 faculty/staff participant, and 2 Site Leaders. This leaves the back seat of the van available for luggage.

7. If I have friends or family near my service site, will I be allowed to meet up with them on my own during the break?

The ASB team must stay together the entire time during the service week. Participants will not be allowed to break from the team to visit friends and family; however, visitors are able to meet up with the entire group in public places or at the housing site for a visit at a time determined appropriate by the Site Leaders.


More FAQ will be added soon and updated frequently. If you have an immediate question, please, contact us at (936) 294-3467 or be email at cls@shsu.edu.


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