NAME: BREAK AWAY®: THE ALTERNATIVE BREAK CONNECTION, INC., 501(c)(3)
PURPOSE: Break Away's mission is to train, assist and connect campuses and communities in promoting quality alternative break programs that inspire lifelong active citizenship.
MEMBERSHIP: A high school, college or university can become a Break Away Chapter School with annual membership dues of $250 or $650 (Associate or Advantage). Nonprofits that wish to utilize Break Away volunteers can join with an annual membership fee of $100. Volunteers fundraise or pay an average of $250, per participant, to cover basic living expenses and supplies for the alternative break experience. The national Break Away office does not charge a fee or have any involvement with the fundraising and budgeting activities of chapter schools (except to provide advice and training).
SERVICES: Any nonprofit agency can receive a free listing of their organization and volunteer needs in the SiteBank, a database with locations and social issues from which students choose alternative break sites. Break Away also provides tailored leadership training to teach college students how to coordinate entire alternative break programs. Topics covered include diversity, reflection, site development and many more.
REQUIREMENTS: Break Away programs require participants to prepare for their alternative break trips, up to a year in advance, to learn about the local community and to implement respectful, effective volunteer activities.
TRAININGS: Weeklong national training sessions, called Alternative Break Citizenship schools, are conducted every summer for students and staff of more than 60 different high schools, colleges, universities and nonprofits. The sessions combine over 45 hours of interactive workshops with quality community service projects.
HIGHER EDUCATION: The educational component is a critical factor in helping participants to understand the root causes of social problems. Break Away's Eight Components of a quality alternative break and our philosophy of lifelong active citizenship is also emphasized through training.
PUBLICS SERVED: Break Away has over 100 Chapter Schools in the U.S.; connects potential volunteers with over 400 nonprofit organizations; sends over 8,000 student volunteers to more than 200 different communities; and has volunteer groups who donate an average of 400 hours of service to the community during each alternative break trip.