#AlternativeBreaks National Photo Contest

AB Photo Contest SOTM


Each year, we host a National Photo Contest for participants on their Alternative Spring Breaks. Students and staff submit photos tagging #AlternativeBreaks, and this year, we're thrilled to have received over 500 submissions! Photos were considered in the following categories:

AB Team Group Photo // You know the one - a class photo style category that brings the team together.

Community Impact Picture // Show how your service positively impacted a community or Community Partner. Special consideration given to full impact stories.

Impact Stories

Active Citizen Shot // “Action” shots of individuals making community a priority in their values and life choices.

2017 Winners

AB Team Group Photo
Grand Valley State University's winning group photo features participants living out their logo during a service project while working with the Cherokee Nation.



Community Impact Picture
"EKUASB worked today with the National Park Service at the Jimmy Carter Historic Boyhood Farm. As an active farm the space serves as a tourist destination, an outdoor classroom for school groups, and continues to provide food for President Carter's Family and the community. Our volunteers worked to replace a fence for the #PresidentialChickens who have recently been harmed by predators. Our group was able to replace the posts, gate, and chicken wire, so that this working farm can continue to maintain chickens and serve as a space for education for the community. #alternativebreaks #ekuserves #PresidentialChickens" - Eastern Kentucky University
This submission highlights the work accomplished rather than strictly the experience of volunteers. It's a stepping stone to illustrating the impact of strong, direct service in communities. You can learn more about Impact Stories in Break Away's Community Impact Assessment Guide.



Active Citizen Shot
"Jazz, art, and breaking the record for most people tested for HIV in a 2 hr. span at 17 clients. #usfBSB #alternativebreaks #citizensinaction" - Greeshma James, University of South Florida


Although the Photo Contest is over, we know your work isn't. Continue following #AlternativeBreaks year-round to see the work of active citizens in communities around the globe.

More than 9,000 photos have been collected over the past few years from alternative break programs across the country. These snapshots have highlighted strong direct service, well-built teams, majestic natural landmarks, and selfies aided by both metal sticks and human hands. We welcome these winners to a small, yet illustrious group of previous winners. #ABhalloffame

2016 Photo Contest Winners // University of Texas at Arlington,
Georgia Southern University, and Loyola Marymount University
2015 Photo Contest Winners // Sonoma State University
and University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
2014 Photo Contest Winner // Florida International University
2013 Photo Contest Winner // Illinois State University
2012 Photo Contest Winner // University of Missouri

On alternative breaks, we share a value of ethical photography when working alongside communities that are not our own. To learn more about this topic, check out the National Conference Call from Spring of 2015. Listen in here.