Over the course of the next week, nearly 600 MU students will be participating in Mizzou Alternative Breaks, traveling to serve communities across the country and overseas. Twenty-one of these students will be traveling internationally.
MAB trips serve a diverse range of locations and provide a wide range of trip focuses, including homelessness and poverty, youth empowerment, environmental issues and several others.
Volunteer locations for this wave of spring break service trips include Key West, Florida; Detroit; Aurora, Colorado; New York City, and more. This year's international trip is to Nicaragua.
"Mizzou Alternative Breaks is led completely by students," MU senior Bizzy Emerson, director of spring service for Mizzou Alternative Breaks, said in a news release. "Student leaders decide where the groups will go and what organizations they will serve. Students are excited to participate and spend their spring break serving other communities. Every year we hear from fellow participants that Mizzou Alternative Breaks was their favorite college experience."
From its beginning as three service trips organized through the University YMCA in 1991, MAB has grown and now organizes annual service trips during Thanksgiving, winter, spring and summer breaks and on weekends.
MAB Director of Events Cleopatra Benos noted how much the program has grown in her three years of involvement.
"Students from every corner of campus are starting to get involved in service," she said in an interview.
Although all spring break trips go out-of-state, MAB's weekend trips serve within the state of Missouri. The organization's current goal is to serve every county in Missouri by 2020. So far, MAB has sent trips to 98 of 115 counties in the state. This idea reiterates one of the organization's seven principles, "Bring it home," which encourages participants to bring their firsthand experiences back to Columbia and the state as a whole.
Supervising editor is Jared Kaufman.