How to Make an Impact During Spring Break
January 18, 2019
Take advantage of your time off, and transform your spring break into lasting impact with these helpful tips.
Alternative Spring Break Service Trips
If you’re able to travel during spring break and excited about the opportunity to meet new people while making an impact, then an “alternative spring break” service trip is a great option. There are tons of trips to choose from, often through your college and university, in cities across the U.S. and abroad.
Many national organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and United Way offer programs for those seeking to serve over spring break. Teach For America runs Impact Spring Break, a program designed for college sophomores and juniors who are interested in service projects directly connected to community needs. During this all-expenses-paid trip, participants spend a week working on projects alongside the community and learning about the region’s local history. Want to go global? ProjectsAbroad offers the opportunity to team up with other colleges across the U.S. to tackle specific issues. Service projects are based in countries around the world and focus on a range of needs, such as education, conservation, and healthcare.
Seek Out Volunteer Opportunities in Your Community
You don’t have to travel far to make an impact during spring break. There are countless opportunities to volunteer in or near your local community. You can start by searching for volunteer opportunities in your city, or look for opportunities to support specific local organizations that you love. Sites like All for Good, Volunteer Match and DoSomething also help connect volunteers with local service projects.
And if you enjoy working with kids, several organizations including the Boys & Girls Club and YMCA offer volunteer opportunities in their local chapters. Be sure to check out the K-12 schools and libraries in your area—many are looking for volunteer tutors and kindergarten classroom support.
Learn More About Issues that Matter to You
Spring break is a great time to take stock of the issues you care about and dedicate time to catching up and learning more about them. You can take advantage of your student discount to various websites, publications, and newsletters that specialize in the issues that concern you. Family, friends, and college faculty can also be a great source of recommendations for books and media that cover the issues that matter to you. Additionally, many online publications share yearly reading lists and film lists that help educate readers about important issues such as civil rights, discrimination, environmentalism, and more.
There are tons of informative and well-researched podcasts, documentaries, and web series that can help you to learn more about the issues that matter to you. If you’re interested in learning more about educational inequity, for example, check out our list of books, podcasts, online articles, short videos, and documentaries.
As you dive into your reading or media list, remember to take time to reflect on what you learned, how it made you feel, and how you can use this knowledge to make an impact during your next semester and beyond.
Reflect and Make Commitments
In this political and social climate, many people find themselves asking how they can make a difference. Having some extra time off may be the perfect chance to consider what issues you are passionate about and lay out a plan for how you will pursue that passion for change in the coming year.
Take time to think about your lived experiences and instances injustices that have resonated with you. Journal or free write to explore these moments in depth. Research different nonprofits and organizations that are championing the causes you care most about, then think about your skill sets, experiences, and talents, and brainstorm what you can do to be more involved.
Create a roadmap and action plan that details how you plan to honor your commitment. Whether you plan to start a reading group that centers on the issues, give back by volunteering your time, seek higher education or certificate program to learn more, or pursue a career path in that area, it’s important to also come up with solutions on how you plan to hold yourself accountable.