Location: Bowdoin / McKeen Center / Activity / 2008 / Apply: Alternative Spring Break 2009

Apply: Alternative Spring Break 2009

Story posted October 03, 2008

The 2009 Alternative Spring Break application process is now closed.  Applications were due October 27 by 5pm.

Program Description

The McKeen Center's Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program provides students the opportunity to spend the first week of spring break engagtal probleed in an intensive public service experience while increasing their understanding of significant social and environments. Trips will include daily service activities, reflection activities, group evening activities, and a chance to explore the area.  Please note that participants should be willing to adapt to living conditions which may be different than they are used to.

Trip participants are required to attend a weekly seminar at the end of the fall semester and throughout the spring semester which prepares them for their service experience.  The seminar may include educational visits from Bowdoin professors, reading assignments, film viewings, and team-building activities.  Upon their return, all ASB participants take part in Perspectives, an all-trip discussion and photo exhibit.

Trip Descriptions and Prices


Experiencia en Ecuador                             $1400
Empower children of impoverished rural communities by improving the quality of schools in Ibarra, Ecuador.  Leaders: Jamilah Gurwala (jgurwala@bowdoin.edu) and Hannah Stokes (hstokes@bowdoin.edu).

*Finding Phoenix, Louisiana                        $575
Join the rural community of Phoenix, Louisiana as they continue to rebuild after the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Leaders: Krista Bahm (kbahm@bowdoin.edu) and Elsie Thomson (ethomson@bowdoin.edu).

*Learning Lima                                        $1300
Help cultivate change in the shanty towns of Lima, Peru by working on a community development project with Solidarity in Action.  Leaders: Ike Irby (iirby@bowdoin.edu) and Becca Van Horn (rvanhorn@bowdoin.edu).

*Making Mississippi Home                           $800
Learn about and address the issue of affordable housing by working with Habitat for Humanity in Pontotoc, Mississippi.  Leaders: Claire Lewkowicz (clewkowi@bowdoin.edu) and Callie Titcomb (ctitcomb@bowdoin.edu).

New Health Awareness in New Mexico        $925
Examine public health issues by working with middle schoolers and talking with health advocates from a Native American reservation in Gallup, New Mexico.  Leaders: Matt Shew (mshew@bowdoin.edu) and Nick Simon (nsimon@bowdoin.edu).

Spring to Safe Passage                            $1475
Volunteer alongside Guatemalan teachers at Safe Passage, an organization that creates opportunities for Guatemala City's poorest children through the power of education.  Leaders: Kyle Dempsey (kdempsey@bowdoin.edu) and Suzanne Heller (sheller@bowdoin.edu).

*Urban Promise                                        $400
Help combat poverty and violence through education with Urban Promise, an organization that works with youth in Camden, New Jersey.  Leaders: Whitney Grass (wgrass@bowdoin.edu) and Nga Tong (ntong@bowdoin.edu).

*The partner organizations on these trips are faith-based.  However, neither the trips themselves nor the ASB program have any faith requirements or planned, intentional religious components.

Financial Aid

Scholarships are available for students with financial need, as determined by the Student Aid Office.  If you would like to be considered for financial aid, be sure to check that option on the online application.  Requests for aid after that date will not be considered. 

Only students that receive financial aid from Bowdoin are eligible for ASB scholarships.  However, SAFC funding and group fundraising will also help to defray the cost for all students.

Terms and Conditions

All ASB participants will be required to attend weekly meetings at the end of fall semester and throughout the spring semester, as scheduled by their group.  During the trip, students participate in all service activities, daily reflection activities, and evening group activities at the site.  All ASB participants take part in Perspectives, an all-trip discussion and photo exhibit upon their return.  By submitting this application, you agree to take part fully in all ASB program components.  Applicants will be selected and notified by November 17.


The 2009 Alternative Spring Break application process is now closed.  Applications were due October 27 by 5pm.

If you have questions about the ASB program or the application process, please contact Sarah Seames at sseames@bowdoin.edu.

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"One of the most definitive experiences in my college career was an Alternative Spring Break trip to Gallup, New Mexico addressing issues of public health and education."
— Matt Shew '09