Alternative Spring Break at the University of Illinois at Chicago (ASB) is a student organization dedicated to heightening UIC students understanding of social justice issues.
We are known throughout the university as well as Chicago first and foremost for our service-learning trips. These trips send teams of students to work at ground-breaking social justice nonprofits across the country for a week during both Winter and Spring Break. It is an easy misconception to categorize these trips as volunteer trips. On the contrary, we believe our trips go many steps ahead of volunteerism. All of our trips have a curriculum attached to them, so addition to the service that we provide the nonprofit, after work students spend a lot of time watching documentaries, having critical discussions on issues, attendance at museum and cultural centers, lunch or dinner with the community members we work with, and also literature/journal article reading and discussion among many activities. This curriculum component ensures that each student is educated in an issue. What's more is that we also train students with knowledge on how to organize around the issue once they return to Chicago. All of these activities collectively create a highly education, highly interaction, and exceptionally unique service-learning experience for any student that participates.
In addition to those service-learning trips, we also focus a lot of our energy in volunteering all across Chicago during Fall and Spring semesters. Some of the organizations that we've volunteered at include Apna Ghar, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Ronald McDonald House, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, Lake View Pantry, Wetlands Initiative, Chicago AIDS Marathon, and Pan African Association.