Rollins Leads the Way in Alternative Breaks

According to Break Away’s 2013-2014 National Chapter Survey Results, Rollins ranked No. 1 for highest percentage of students who participate in alternative breaks.

Courtney Banker ’16 and Alex Daubert '15 put together boxes of food for a mobile food pantry in Tampa as part of an alternative spring break trip. (Photo by Scott Cook) Courtney Banker ’16 and Alex Daubert '15 put together boxes of food for a mobile food pantry in Tampa as part of an alternative spring break trip. (Photo by Scott Cook)

Rollins ranked No. 1 for highest percentage of breakers on campus, according to Break Away’s 2013-2014 National Chapter Survey. This marks the second year in row Rollins has held that spot. Others in the top 10 include Cornell College, Vanderbilt University, and Rice University.

Founded in 1991, Break Away is a national nonprofit organization that supports the development of quality alternative break programs. Alternative breaks are trips where students engage in volunteer service while focusing on particular social issues, such as poverty, education reform, refugee settlement, and the environment. They emphasize trips that are student developed and led, and they challenge students to think critically and react thoughtfully to problems faced by members of the communities in which they are involved.

At Rollins, these trips are organized by students through the Rollins Immersions: Citizens Take Action program.

“Whether it’s learning about an impact area, allowing participants or facilitators to cultivate leadership skills, helping a community partner carry out their mission, or growing personally, Immersions are making powerful and substantial impacts on the lives of those involved,” says Raul Carril ’15, who is one of two student coordinators for the Rollins Immersion: Citizens Take Action program.

According to the report, 145 schools completed this year’s survey, which found that 1,551 total trips had been taken with 17,657 participants working in collaboration with 1,993 community partners and resulting in 1,310,878 estimated hours of direct service. The top social issues focused on were:

Homelessness
The environment
Access to food and hunger
Children and youth
Urban and rural poverty
Education
Access to affordable housing
Disaster relief and recovery
Health

This academic year, Rollins led 24 trips—both international and domestic—with 334 participants. Issues ranged from child welfare and homelessness to veterans’ rights and healthcare.

“Demand for Immersion experiences have been off the charts,” Carril says. “We plan to continue this momentum in the upcoming year and have some amazing new Immersion experiences, along with some classic favorites, that we think our community is going to love.”

View the 2013-2014 National Chapter Survey.