Compelling Evidence

Compelling Evidence

Since its inception in 1991, Break Away has discovered countless stories and anecdotal evidence of its success.  The past Executive Director, Dan McCabe, was in fact a "product of the system." A Break Away alternative break trip to Pembroke, Virginia taught him to actuate the full value of his business degree to benefit the community, rather than simply pursuing one-dimensional financial success. While examples like this are not uncommon for Break Away participants, more research was needed to determine whether our Eight Quality Components were indeed creating more active citizens. A scientific impact analysis conducted in 2001 by Dr. Pushkala Raman and her Marketing Research Class at Florida State University revealed that "...there is overwhelming evidence to support the view that Break Away is indeed contributing to the creating of active citizens." Some other highlights of that study include the following:

  • Research indicates that participants show stronger intentions of voting after participating in a Break Away program.
  • Research indicates that Break Away participants are inclined to increase the amount of time they dedicate to serving the community after an alternative break experience.

In 2002, Dr. Raman conducted another study. This time, it was of the nonprofit Host Site organizations that utilize Break Away volunteers. After measuring Host Site satisfaction with Break Away volunteers, her work produced amazing results:

  • 100% of Nonprofit organizations that responded and had hosted Break Away volunteer groups agreed or strongly agreed that they benefited from the work done by Break Away students.
  • 100% of the same nonprofit organizations were interested in hosting Break Away groups again in the future.

If you are interested in learning about more results of the study, please contact Jill Piacitelli, Director, at or 800.903.0646.

Recent Research

We are pleased to report the results from Break Away's 2010 Annual National Alternative Break Survey.
       A few highlights:
  • An estimated 72, 000 students will participate in an alternative break in 2010.
  • The number of alternative breaks sent out by Break Away chapters jumped this year, to a growth of 20%.
  • The number of international alternative break trips being sent grew by 10%.
  • Environmental trips are the most popular issue area of 2010.

    To see the results of the entire survey, click here.


Break Away has received hundreds of compliments on its passionate staff and powerful programs. Here are a couple of our favorites:

"It's not an exaggeration to say that Break Away has transformed the way we do our environmental restoration work. Every March, our highest priority is working with spring break students. We love the opportunity to share our restoration story with them...and they can feel pride in bringing Florida's native ecosystems back to life. The staff is always re-inspired and challenged by bright young minds and the learning goes both ways.

- Leigh Brooks, Volunteer Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy - Northwest Florida Program

"As a practicing professional in the field of social work, I have attended hundreds of workshops concerning all aspects of working with others. Break Away has been the most rewarding training I have ever attended. If Break Away has the ability to connect and recruit young people of this magnitude, I am thrilled for the future generation with these young adults at the helm."

- Janet Naish, MSW, LCSW, Assistant Professor/Field Coordinator, University of St. Francis

Break Away | 2451 Cumberland Pkwy | Suite 3124 |Atlanta, GA 30339
Toll Free 800/903-0646 | Email
Design by Eric Donaldson
Programming by Kevin Krzyzanski
Original Design/Database by Yosh Schulman