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More than 400 Mizzou students to volunteer across the U.S.

March 21st, 2019

Story Contact: Sheena Rice, 573-882-8353,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Forget trips to Mexico or Europe. For more than 400 University of Missouri students, the ideal spring break trip involves hitting the road, rolling up sleeves and volunteering.

This spring break, 419 students with Mizzou Alternative Breaks, a student-led program, will spend their break from college in 21 states across the country. They will work on community service projects such as building houses with Habitat for Humanity and serving in Veteran’s Affairs hospitals. The students have partnered with 41 community organization partners to identify meaningful projects they can complete during their week of service.

“Since the 1990s, Mizzou students have shown their commitment to service through these alternative break trips,” said Jeff Zeilenga, dean of students. “I am proud that so many Mizzou student leaders choose to spend their vacations serving others and that the program continues to grow in popularity.”

Mizzou Alternative Breaks participants learn about important community issues, including education, health, homelessness and more. Volunteer activities include:

  • Serving women and families in need in New York City and Nashville
  • Building homes in Colorado and Alabama
  • Doing restoration projects in Zion National Park
  • Working at the Head Start program in Montana
  • Volunteering with youth development organizations in Austin

“Mizzou Alternative Breaks is led completely by students,” said Jason Rush, director of leadership and service for Mizzou Alternative Breaks and a senior studying health sciences. “This organization provides students a chance to do more with spring break than just a vacation. We are making a difference in communities across the country.”

Founded in 1991, Mizzou Alternative Breaks sends groups of students on service trips during weekend, Thanksgiving, spring, summer and winter breaks. Participants enter communities with the mindset of “serve, don’t help”— one of the program’s guiding principles.