Alternative Spring Break Helps Others

Tampa, Fla. (March 11, 2009) – University of South Florida students will travel throughout the U.S. to take part in humanitarian efforts during spring break.  At a time when college students historically head to the beach to blow off steam or simply relax, 250 students from USF will go to 26 locations including Tennessee,  Atlanta, Alabama, Washington DC,  New Orleans, New York City and the Everglades to provide community services.


“Projects were given colorful names, but the work involved is rigorous and requires dedication, compassion, perseverance and sacrifice to achieve each trip’s mission,” said Amy Simon, associate director of civic engagement with the USF Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.  


A few of the alternative spring break trips include:


Extreme Makeover – St. Bernard Project – New Orleans, Louisiana – The mission of the St. Bernard Project is to remove barriers for families who wish to move back into their homes in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. St. Bernard is a uniquely tight-knit, working/middle class community adjacent to New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward and is arguably the area hardest hit by hurricane Katrina. For more information visit


Design on a Dime – Homes of Hope – Greenville, South Carolina – It is not just about houses it’s about lives. They believe that the simple act of meeting a need is only the beginning.  Their desire is to help others change their lives. For more information visit


I Say Tomato, You Say Tomatoe Centro Campesino Farmworker Center – Florida City, Florida – Volunteers will help make a difference by building affordable housing for migrant farm workers and tutoring the children of farm workers at an after-school program. For more information visit


Real World: On the Streets of DC Community for Creative Non-Violence – Washington, D.C. – Volunteers will help individuals at the nation’s largest homeless shelter which assists approximately 1350 residents. For more information visit


School House ROCKS! Tara Hall Home for Boys - Georgetown, South Carolina – Volunteers will help tutor children and participate in fun activities with boys ages six to 12 in Tara Hall Home. These boys have been abused or abandoned and stay at the residential site for up to two years. For more information visit


Students paid fees between $200 to $350 to cover travel, lodging and food.  When students return to USF they will meet on April 2 at 5 p.m. in the Marshall Center Ballroom to share their stories and talk about their experiences.


For more information on the alternative spring break trips or about student volunteerism at USF, contact the Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement at (813) 974-5317.


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.