Starting relatively small, The Alternative Spring Break Program, recently renamed the Alternative Breaks Program is set to debut several non-spring break programs this year, advertising trips to explore “the cross-section of social entrepreneurship and the criminal justice system,” and their effect on communities.
For students that are not accepted to or cannot afford the longer spring break program format, ABP weekend trips promise to be a rewarding opportunity for concentrated community engagement.
Social justice should not be limited to a single season, and ABP’s redefinition will give it a longer continuity that is more in line with other CSJ programs.
Since 1975, the Alternative Breaks Program, working through Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice, has offered Georgetown students the opportunity to forgo the stereotypical spring break in favor of trips involving community service and social justice. Programs in the past have gone to an array of locations, including Detroit, New Orleans and different Appalachian sites.
Each year, the program has increased its presence on campus, offering more scholarships, more trips and more opportunities to engage with service once participants return to the Hilltop.
Last fall, the program changed its name, a minor adjustment that belied a much larger change in the program — a focus on engaging students throughout the entire academic year.
As weekend trips become incorporated into the structure of the ABP, students would do well to take advantage of this new opportunity to contribute their time and energies off campus and beyond the Hilltop.
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