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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 2014!

Monday, October 28
Tuesday, October 29
4-5 PM, LSC 307
4-5 PM, LSC 307
Tuesday, December 3
Wednesday, December 4
4-5 PM, LSC 308
5:15 - 6:15 PM, LSC 307
Thursday, January 23
Monday, January 27
4-5 PM, LSC Room TBA
5:15 - 6:15 PM, LSC Room TBA


Spring 2014 ASB Trips: March 8/9 - 14/15

Kats Helping Kids

City Year – San Antonio, Texas

Sunday, March 9 – Friday, March 14, 2014



Join us for Camp City Year deep in the heart of Texas in vibrant San Antonio.  City Year - San Antonio is a program that focuses on keeping children in school and assisting them with their academic and personal development. The goal of the organization is to increase graduation rates and ensure that every child has the opportunity for a great education. The program especially targets children who come from low-income families because they are considered to be high risk for academic failure and dropping out. Since City Year’s opening in 1988, it has served 1,225,000 children and graduated over 15,100 alumni.

Camp City Year is an academic-infused civic leadership camp for over 125 elementary, middle and high school students that occurs during Spring Break. The team selected for this trip will focus on education, community engagement, and social interactions with the camp participants.  Projects will likely include serving as camp aides, counselors, and activity leaders and team members must pass necessary background checks in order to participate.

Over the Sands & Through the Streams

St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve – Port St. Joe, Florida

Saturday, March 8 – Saturday, March 15, 2014



Joins us for service on the sandy beaches of the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve, located on over 5,100 acres in beautiful Port St. Joe, Florida. The St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve’s goals include the conservation, protection, and restoration of important ecosystems and landscapes in order to protect significant surface water, coastal, recreational, fish, and wildlife resources. They also provide protection for native species habitats and archaeological and historical sites, as well as, natural resource-based recreation.

The team selected for this trip will focus on nature conservancy and ecological preservation through service projects that may include: beach cleaning, trail clearing and maintenance, facility maintenance, and the preservation of wildlife habitats. Sunscreen is highly encouraged and there will be time for team recreation on the beautiful beaches of Port St. Joe.

Rocking, Rolling, and Serving!

United Methodist Neighborhood Centers of Memphis, Inc. – Memphis, Tennessee

Sunday, March 9 – Saturday, March 15, 2014



Join us as we travel to the southwestern corner of Tennessee to spend a week serving in Memphis. The team selected for this trip will partner with the United Methodist Neighborhood Centers of Memphis, Inc. and St. Matthews United Methodist Church* which tackles poverty, hunger, and homelessness within the city.

Participants will be engaged in service projects such as working in a food pantry & thrift store, helping the elderly, working with homeless veterans, and other projects to help those in need. The goal is to partner with these organizations to work directly with the Memphians to help eradicate these social issues through education and service. Participants will also have the opportunity to tour Memphis and indulge in the rich historical culture of the city.

*SHSU ASB is not a religiously-affiliated program and the purpose of the trip is based in community service rather than religious or spiritual missions.

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

Click on the links below for an ASB Application.





SHSU ASB History


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 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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