From serving the homeless in Washington, D.C., to providing care for abandoned and abused dogs in Tennessee, UNCG students are using their spring break as a way to give back.

Approximately 75 UNCG students are participating in four different service trips in cities across the Southeast March 6-12.

The Office of Leadership and Service Learning’s (OLSL) Service Trips program is offering three alternative break options for students:

  • Advocating for Animal Welfare: Making a PAW-sitive Impact (a partnership with Horse Creek Wildlife Sanctuary and Animal Refuge in Savannah, Tennessee)
  • Do Not Shame Us: Navigating Human Rights and Humanity within the Sphere of Sex Trafficking (a partnership with Medici Project in Atlanta)
  • Paint & Power: Building Bridges through Art (a partnership with Semilla Arts Initiative in Philadelphia)

In addition, student organization UNCG Alternative Spring Break will serve the homeless during its 11th annual trip to Washington, D.C.

“We encourage students to go on these trips as a way of exploration,” said Kristina Snader, assistant director of community engagement for OLSL. “Our students have the opportunity to meet new people, explore career opportunities and make a lasting impact in the lives of others.”

The trips cost $150, which includes travel, meals and lodging.

Alternative spring break trips at UNCG date back to 2002, when a group of students traveled to Washington, D.C., to help address issues of hunger and homelessness in the city. In 2005, the trip transformed into the student group UNCG Alternative Spring Break.

That same year, students participated in several Hurricane Katrina relief trips, which spurred the creation of OLSL’s Service Trips program. The program hosts weekend and weeklong service trips throughout the year.

When students return to UNCG, many are inspired to give back locally.

“I always encourage students to get involved with other campus and community organizations that are doing great work in the Greensboro community,” said Guy Sanders, staff adviser for UNCG Alternative Spring Break and associate director for administrative operations in the Office of Housing and Residence Life.

For sophomore Alexis Bryant – who participated in a service trip last year and will work with Medici Project on issues related to sex trafficking this year – service has been one of the highlights of her UNCG experience.

“It feels good to know you have made a difference in someone else’s life,” Bryant said. “I’m happy making others happy.”

To learn more about UNCG Alternative Spring Break in Washington, D.C., click here. For more information about service trips through OLSL, click here.


Are you participating in a service project over spring break? Share your photos from the week on Twitter and Instagram and tag them #UNCGservice.


Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Relations
Photography provided by OLSL