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APPLES 2012 civil right alternative spring breakThe Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program takes place in the spring semester through both classroom interaction and an immersive experience for eight days during spring break in March.

The learning begins before spring break as participants attend classroom sessions designed to prepare them to engage in discussion and service centered on their chosen focus area. In this two-credit hour, pass/fail course (HBEH 610), students examine theories behind community service, coalition building, community asset development as well as specific needs and assets of the communities where they volunteer. This is a mandatory course meeting weekly for a total of two hours (one hour of lecture and one hour of recitation). The spring 2020 course will meet on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. Recitations will be planned by each trip based on the group’s schedule.

During the break, students apply what they are learning about the focus areas and communities at different sites through direct and indirect service as well as advocacy work. An emphasis is placed on reflection throughout the experience and following the students’ return. There is a $90 non-refundable fee associated with Alternative Spring Breaks. Need-based financial assistance may be available upon request.

APPLES sponsors five ASB experiences on the following topics:
  • Latinx Communities: Students explore issues affecting migrant workers and Latino communities in North Carolina including immigration policy, labor rights, farmworker conditions and access to healthcare.
  • Rural Communities: Students work with local organizations to gain a better understanding of education, health and infrastructure issues that affect a low-income rural community in North Carolina.
  • Urban Communities: Participants learn about poverty and homelessness in a larger urban area. Issues explored in previous trips include hunger and food access, addiction and health.
  • Civil Rights: Participants explore a wide variety of current civil and human rights issues, ranging from gender equality and educational inequities to food availability and gay rights.
  • Disaster Recovery: An experience that can vary based on storm season, disaster relief participants explore many aspects of disaster management including policy, access to aid and rebuilding efforts.

When applying, students may indicate their preference.

2019-2020 Alternative Spring Break Timeline

Oct. 14, 2019: Participant application opens
Nov. 4, 2019: Participant application closes
Nov. 7, 2019: Applicants notified about selection for interviews
Nov. 11 – 15, 2019: Applicant interviews
Nov. 18, 2019: Participants and alternates notified
Jan. 8, 2020: ASB course and recitations begin
March 7 – 15, 2020: Spring break


Applications are currently closed.

Applications for break leader positions are available in the spring semester.

The Carolina Center for Public Service at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for its events and programs. If you need accommodations, please contact or call 919-962-0902. Every reasonable effort will be made to implement accommodations in an effective and timely manner.