Many new leaders are empowered through Alternative Breaks and continue to affect change in communities when they return from their trip. After each team returns to campus they construct a presentation for the broader community to educate faculty, staff and students on both their experience and the issues that they are passionate about. Below are some testimonials from students who have been impacted by the Alternative Break experience.
"My Alternative Spring Break experience down to the Tenderloin District in San Francisco completely opened my eyes and changed the way I see the world. From the very beginning of the trip, I knew it was going to be amazing because our group really came together. When you see a group of college students pledge Spring Break to volunteer with the homeless community, one understands that those are a very special group of students who will all contribute to the betterment of the world throughout his or her individual life. Fixing breakfast at Glide Church where over 700 homeless people are fed three meals a day blew my mind. This was my first interaction with this community on such a personal level. Like in every group there are always a few troublemakers, but a larger majority of the people were very gracious. We talked to a few of them while finishing breakfast and I realized that a homeless man is just that, a man, with a life and a story. The trip only got better, because I saw all the hard work that organizations like Tenderloin Health and Glide gave every day. The trip really changed the way I looked at the world. In a few short days I matured and learned more about myself and the world than I normally do over several weeks in school. Alternative Spring Break gave me the ambition and knowledge to make me realize how much helping others was going to be a part of my life."
- Cody Wollitz | 2009 San Francisco Participant
"All of the facilitators were excellent, and I felt like they had really committed themselves to making it a worthwhile experience for all participants.
- Zach Nicolaides | 2009 San Francisco Participant
"The Alternative Spring Break was an experience that I will never forget. It was an opportunity that gave others and myself insight into giving back to the community. This week was more satisfying and meaningful than any other Spring Break vacation I have had. Working with various organizations that were dedicated to helping the betterment of people's lives in difficult situations was inspiring. We realized that there are actually people who care about others and want to share happiness in this world. The discussions directed by the trip leaders and the diversity of the group created a well rounded atmosphere and opened up our eyes and perspectives to the world and the people living in it. I learned a lot about myself and the role I choose to play in helping others. Yes it can be hard and requires a lot of work, but this experience demonstrated first-hand that it means so much to the people we are helping. Sometimes in life, we fall into difficult situations, but the help of a neighbor, or knowing that someone is there really makes the difference. All the things I learned, all the people I met, and the places I saw made this experience one of a kind and encourages me to be the best person that I am capable of being. This was an influential week; it was deep and meaningful, but also fun and rewarding. All I can say is that this experience can change you, as it has me, into a better person."
- Kayla Kohake | 2009 San Francisco Participant
"For me this trip was about gaining the strength not to be silent anymore. I've had several occasions where I've been able to offer the truth of what I've experienced. I'm not trying to change their political views on immigrant issues or anything, but just let them know. The trip gave me courage to generate dialogue about these issues even with my parents."
- Abby Diskin | 2009 San Diego ASB participant