Alternative Breaks: Follow The Journey

Scores of students are spending their break helping others

More than 60 University of Oregon students are spending this week helping others as part of Alternative Breaks, a Holden Leadership Center program that lets Ducks spend their time off working on service projects and learning about different cultures.

The idea is to give students a chance to learn different perspectives alongside fellow Ducks, while learning first-hand about the value of service, leadership and innovation, according to the Holden Center.

The students will be in:

  • Nicaragua, working with a community health center to collect household data on diabetes, obesity and diet. The group also will be working on public health, installing concrete floors, painting homes with insect repellant paint and educating families on the use of water filters.
  • Kaneohe, Hawaii, working on a watershed-focused ecological restoration project. Students will be removing invasive mangroves from the coastline and planting native species in fishponds.
  • Antigua, Guatemala, working with Stoves Team International to build clean-burning, energy-efficient cook stoves and deliver them to local residents.
  • San Francisco, California, exploring the transformative power of play with community partner Playwork.
  • On the Rogue River in southern Oregon partnering with NW Youth Corps to create a local service and leadership experience in the woods.

In addition to working on service projects, students will participate in daily reflections, leadership lessons, evening debriefs and topical discussions, a curriculum intended to promote self-awareness, global citizenship and leadership.