Alvernia University Alternative Breaks organizes weekend and week-long service and immersion trips for students to inspire and empower them to lead lives dedicated to serving the underserved, promoting peace and justice, and working towards the common good.  Centered around the pillars of education, direct service, and reflection, Alternative Breaks trips address pertinent social issues and provide students the opportunity to learn, serve, and reflect with a small community that fosters personal growth and promotes radical love.  The hope is that these short-term experiences will challenge students to make a lifelong commitment to servant leadership and active citizenship.


Alvernia University Alternative Breaks envisions an engaged campus that values community and promotes the common good.


Alternative Breaks is a large commitment.  Participants will meet regularly throughout the year leading up to their break.  Meetings will have a variety of topics--icebreakers, introduction to Alternative Breaks, team-building activities, movies or information about the trip issue, Drug and Alcohol Policy (We are illegal drug and alcohol free!), and, of course, fundraising. All trips will also participate in some large-group Alternative Breaks activities such as the Kick-Off Meeting, Prep4Break Sessions and so on.

Student Leadership

Each Alternative Break has one or two student leaders to accompany one staff advisor. Alternative Break Site Leaders will help plan meetings, organize fundraisers, communicate with their group, plan reflections, gain valuable life skills, and have a ton of fun! 

2024 Alternative Break Sites

Immersion Experience: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (May 12-18, 2024)

A week of teaching, serving and learning in which students will assist the Bernardine Sisters (founders of Alvernia) with the operations of their school and experience life in the Los Tres Brazos barrio. They will build relationships to span miles and last lifetimes. We invite you to support our partnership with the Bernardine Sisters in Santo Domingo.



Bethlehem Farm: Alderson, W. Va. (May 12-18, 2024)

Bethlehem Farm, is more than a “work camp” for volunteers. They invite volunteers to be a part of their mission and home. They build community with each other by working, praying, laughing, and loving together. They live simply to appreciate the gifts that God has given them. They pray together to grow closer to God and to one another. They serve the local people, serve each other, and open themselves to be served by others. By living out the Gospel cornerstones of prayer, simplicity, service and community each day of their lives, they offer volunteers not just the opportunity for service, but the opportunity to experience another way of life.


Alternative Breaks

Previous Alternative Break Participants

Chloe Gletow volunteering at Millmont Elementary
Chloe Gletow
Previous Alternative Breaker
Alyssa Keifer '18 enjoys a quiet moment.
Alyssa Keifer
Previous Alternative Breaker
Melisa Rivera by construction gate
Melisa Rivera
Previous Alternative Break Participant and Current Alternative Break Site Leader
Alternative Breaks | Spring 2020
Questions about Alternative Breaks
Please contact Abigail Canela for more information.