UCI Volunteer Programs

UCI Alternative Break Program

Section 1

UCI Alternative Break Program 

  • An alternative break program places teams of college students in communities to engage in community service and experiential learning during their winter or spring break.

  • Students perform short term projects for community agencies and learn about issues such as literacy, poverty, racism, hunger, homelessness and the environment.

  • The objectives of an alternative break program are to involve college students in community-based service projects and to give students opportunities to learn about the problems faced by members of communities with whom they otherwise may have had little or no direct contact.

  • The intensity of the experience increases the likelihood that participants will transfer the lessons learned on-site back to their own communities even after the alternative break end.

Alternative Break - Spring 2017 | Application & Eligibility 

Click here to apply for the 2017 UCI Alternative Break Program 

Due Date:  Week 6 | Monday | Feb. 13, 2017


Alternative Break is open to all UCI undergraduate students.  Students must be in good academic standing and not on academic probabtion.  UCI Extension students are not eligible at this time.  

*Program Support: Upon acceptance to the Alternative  Break program, participants will be  required to attend a mandatory orientation and service project on March 4 8am-2pm, and a re-orientation program post trip (date TBD).  

*Fees & Payments: Upon acceptance, all applicants pay a trip-fee of $200. This fee covers transportation to/from service site, lodging, and most meals.   NOTE: Accommodations vary per service site. Eligible drivers will receive the discounted rate of: $160.

*Notification: Applicants will be notified as to the status of their application (via email) no later than Week 8.

*Policies: Upon acceptance into the program, participants will be required to sign agreements (alcohol and drug free, liability, conduct, etc.) 


Alternative Break Sites - Spring 2017


Theme:  Empowering the Misrepresented; Strong, Resilient, and Powerful Womxn

Location: Los Angeles, CA 

Site:  TBD

Date: March 27- April 1

Womxn* and girls of color face many disparities within a society that upholds “white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal, cis-gendered” ideologies.This trip will consist of challenging these ideologies by amplifying the voices of womxn and centering their issues.

We want to bring womxn issues to the frontline of conversations. Historically womxn have had few to no rights and are continued to be underrepresented, misrepresented, and undermined. This trip will not change the world nor fix a community, this is an opportunity for participants to learn and be exposed by taking these issues close to their lives. I want to focus on gender issues specifically  womxn of color and how their lives are impacted. We will look at homelessness, domestic violence, LGBTQ, self-love, families and empowerment of womxn.  The problems that womxn of color face include gender, ethnicity/race,misogyny and class inequality.

*womxn with an ‘x’ to include all womxn.

Section 3



Location: Los Angeles, CA

Site:  TBD

Date: March 27- March 31

The basis of this trip is meant to focus on the disparities in the culture of the City of Angeles and the issues within underrepresented identities, specifically with homelessness and the importance of empowerment. We will attempt to deconstruct Los Angeles as best as we can within our week of community service to analyze the smaller parts of this giant and beautiful city. Deconstructing means to reduce something to its constituent parts in order to reinterpret it. In simpler terms, this community service trip will attempt to see Los Angeles as more than a city full of cool hipster coffee place and Hollywood, but there are issues that are hidden in the city that many visitors and even its residents may not be aware about. The team will be working closely alongside specialized organizations that work with helping out the homeless population in the Downtown and Echo Park area. Participants who put in as much effort as they can and tries their best to grasp the basis of the trip will understand the impact these types of organizations have for the youth identity and how crucial it is for these types of organizations to exist.

Section 4


Theme:  Intersections in Sustainability and Mental Health: Social Justice, Science and Systems Thinking

Location: Pauma Valley, CA 

Site:  La Jolla Indian Reservation

Date: March 27- April 1

This trip will focus on Sustainability and Mental Health issues. The trip’s service site will be at La Jolla Indian Reservation and Campgrounds in their preparation for their Earth Day Celebration and any other tasks that they would need from us. At the site, we will learn about the Reservation's history and ecology. The educational aspect of the trip will also focus on sustainability issues and mental health. Service on both an interpersonal and political level and self-care will also be a large point of discussion. Other more specific issues that will be discussed will be the sociological implications of Capitalism and Colonialism/Western Supremacy in the Scientific Community and the Environmentalist Movement. The trip endeavors to develop critical, inter-disciplinary understandings of Sustainability and provide tools to reflect on what we can do in our lives to enact systemic change, personally, spiritually and societally

Section 5

Alternative Break! by Slidely Slideshow