History

Break Away started small, but we were founded on big ideas. Michael Magevney and Laura Mann, two Vanderbilt University students, began Break Away in June 1991. Thanks to the tremendous financial and administrative support Break Away enjoyed in our near-decade operating as a program at Vanderbilt, we grew from a fledgling alternative break resource center to the leading national organization.

In 2000, Break Away incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) and was graciously housed by the Center for Civic Education and Service at Florida State University.

Then in 2007, headquarters relocated to Atlanta, Georgia as part of an arrangement with Hands On Network/Points of Light to pursue a shared goal of creating meaningful volunteer and social advocacy opportunities for recent college graduates and alternative break alumni. In 2011, we struck out on our own again, though our offices remain in the Atlanta area—and are still cubicle-free.

We currently have a network of over 200 chapter schools, more than 500 nonprofit partners, and thousands of alternative break alumni worldwide. As true believers in the power of positive change, we’re proud of our own growth and transformation over the years.