Best Student Organization
CU DENVER’S ALTERNATIVE BREAK PROGRAM COMBINES TRAVEL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
There are several student organizations on campus for students and their various interests. But there is only one that can be titled the best student organization, and that is the CU Denver Alternative Break Program.
An AB is a week long service trip, where college students can travel to a new city and study a social justice issue. Some of the previous trips social justice focuses have been on HIV/AIDS, urban gardening, sustainability, poverty, and many more.
There are AB trips during winter, spring, and summer break. Each summer the AB program travels to Guatemala to work on sustainability and learn about the problems facing a developing nation.
All trips are planned and led by students. After a student has participated on one AB, they can interview to become a trip leader. The duties of a trip leader consist of picking the trip focus, picking the organization to work for, and picking each participant. Being a trip leader builds leadership skills and allows for the student to gain extensive planning experience.
Each AB trip is compiled of various components that ensure each student takes away something meaningful from the trip. There are pre-trip meetings to educate students on the community and focus before the trip, direct service with a community organization during the trip, and a nightly group reflection to synthesize the workday.
The best part of the trip comes from the nightly reflection. Each reflection is designed for the group to have an open conversation about the work being on the AB. This is best type of group bonding for all participants on the trip.
AB trips aren’t just a low-cost vacation for students, but an opportunity to look at social justice issues facing our nation and how serving a community can be impactful. When a student participates on an AB trip their life is transformed. The way they see the world is forever changed and that experience can never be forgotten.