Our true key leaders are the students at our Chapter Schools nationwide. Without pay, these students work year-round to coordinate as many as 30 or more alternative break trips, including recruiting and training participants, fundraising to support 5-figure budgets, and donating their school breaks to serve and learn from others. Without the dedication, innovation, and inspiration brought by these fine young people, we would not have come so far toward realizing a society of Active Citizens. However, we realize that many people are interested in understanding how the national Break Away office operates, particularly without government or special interest funding. While financial contributions from our members and friends fosters growth of the national alternative break movement, it is the tireless volunteer efforts of the following individuals that facilitates efficient programming. Break Away is a volunteer-driven movement, from students to professionals. The following volunteers train young leaders around the country, staff the national office, provide technical assistance to those in need, and bring the message of Break Away and active citizens to people and communities from coast to coast. We thank them for helping nonprofits to gain valuable volunteers, helping students to realize their potential as community leaders, and helping citizens to become more active.
Break Away Staff
Jill Piacitelli, Executive Director
Jill Piacitelli has worked with Break Away in various capacities for the last 10 years: conference and retreat facilitator, National Program Director, curriculum development, Board of Directors, and Programs Board. She received a bachelorís of science in Sociology from Brigham Young University, where her stint as a research assistant fueled her interest in service-learning and in social movements. She went on to become a service-learning coordinator on several campuses, able to be part of 5 alternative breaks. She is committed to the development of active citizenship, and the role a quality alternative break can play in a life.
Samantha Giacobozzi, Programs Director
Sam was a student coordinator at Eastern Michigan University which led her to the place where she first fell in love with Break Away. She came to the 2004 ABCs in Miami working on Gentrification issues and has been back every year since! From Site Leader to Intern to AmeriCorps member she has been involved with Break Away and Alternative Breaks for five years. Sam joins Break Away now as a full-time Programs Director.
Molly McCabe, Programs Director
Molly got her start with alternative breaks back in 1998 at Florida State University. She got hooked on Break Away after her first ABCs in Nashville, Tennessee. A career in teaching gave her room during the summers to assist in program development and facilitation for Break Away for seven years. She also served as the Chair for the Programming Board Alumni Committee. Molly accepted a full-time position as Program Director of Break Away and is excited to invest more time into facilitating Break Away Site Leader Retreats and consulting campus chapters. "It is so much fun and awe-inspiring to see schools carrying the torch of creating active citizens on their campuses. Alternative Breaks truly do change the world."
Jillian Treacy, Community Partner Coordinator
Jillian worked as a Student Coordinator for the Alternative Spring Break program at James Madison University prior to becoming a Summer Intern with Break Away for the 2007 ABCs season. A recent graduate of JMU's Social Work program, Jillian is working as the first-ever Community Partnerships Coordinator for Break Away. Currently living in our nation's capital she is setting-up shop in Break Away's first ever satellite office as an Americorps member.
Brooke Smith, Trainer
Brooke was a big part of the alternative break program at University of Kansas. After attending the ABCs, Brooke became a big part of Break Away, taking on roles from Summer Intern to Program Assistant. She is currently living in Washington D.C. and working as a Senior Policy and Field Analyst for PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays). Brooke is a chair of Break Away's Program Board - volunteering her time and skills to improve Break Away's membership programs.
Abbe Ewell, Trainer
Abbe is a product of the fine alternative break program at Eastern Michigan University. As a student director there, she learned the in's and out's of a successful campus program and then brought her knowledge to Break Away through four ABCs as a site leader, summer intern, and trainer. She now lives and works in Chicago, at Chicago CARES.
Lucia Goyen, Trainer
Lucia Goyen began her passion for alternative breaks at Florida International University. As a director of the program for two years, and site leader for many trips, she learned what it take to make a successful campus program. She took her love of breaks to Break Away as a summer intern and has been hooked ever since. She currently works at Hands on Miami in Florida.
Break Away Board of Directors
Stephen Caruso, Merrill Lynch
Toby Chalberg, Points of Light Institute
Kelly Donoughe, KenWood Camps
Meghan Dunne, Teach for America (DC Public Schools)
Deb Salls, YMCA of USA
Erin Senter, Booz Allen Hamilton
Board Vice Chair
Harold Silva, Service for Peace
Shoshanna Sumka, American University