Northern Illinois University's Huskie Alternative Breaks (HAB) program has been sending students to participate in community service throughout the United States since its founding in 2009, when compassionate Huskies joined together to provide their assistance in the wake of Hurricane Ike in Galveston, Texas. HAB strives to raise awareness and educate students about social issues by providing an opportunity for alternative breaks that will inspire them to become active members of society and leaders in their communities.
This unique service program at NIU provides students and faculty the opportunity to evaluate current social issues and seek ways to continually change the world.
An alternative break is a trip where a group of college students engage in volunteer service, typically for a week. Each trip has a focus on a particular social issue, such as (but not limited to) poverty, education reform, refugee resettlement, and the environment. Students learn about the social issues and then perform week-long projects with non-profit organizations.
Participants have the opportunity to:
• Meet other NIU students who are interested in service
• Learn about cultural and social issues while doing service
• Make new connections across the country
• Build relationships
• Grow, learn, and change your point of view
• Travel without spending a lot of money
• Create social change
It is HAB’s goal to have both fund-raising events for each individual trip as well as large program-wide fund-raisers in order to make these trips affordable for participants. The Huskie Alternative Breaks program hosts program-wide fund-raisers to assist in lowering trip costs. These fund-raisers include bake sales, Carson Prairie-Scott Community Day sales, Six Flags: Coasters for a Cause, and working with local businesses such as Culvers.
What is a Site Leader?
The success of each HAB excursion depends heavily upon the quality of its leaders. Site Leaders are responsible for some of the most important tasks in the HAB program which include working with community organizations to develop volunteer project sites and ensuring that arrangements are made for transportation, housing, and food. A Site Leader also guides his/her team through educational, team-building, and reflection activities pertaining to the team’s chosen social justice issue leading up to, during, and after the trip. Site Leaders will also be involved in organizing the orientation and re-orientation reflection sessions before and after the trip. In this position, you will gain and hone many skills including delegation, conflict management, project planning, and time management.
How do I apply to be a Site Leader?
Applications to be a Site Leader for Huskie Alternative Breaks during the 2014 - 2015 school year are now available! Applications are due to Destiny McDonald in the Campus Life Building, Rm 150 by Thursday, April 17th at 4:00 pm. Site Leader Application