Alternative Spring Break Offers Opportunities for Service and Fun

Spring break at Westminster College can mean more than a beach vacation or simple trip home. A group of students and representatives from The Center for Faith and Service will head to Nashville, TN, from March 14 to March 20 for Alternative Spring Break.

Keller Hawkins, chaplain resident and coordinator of community engagement, says Westminster is among thousands of other campuses across the country that choose to serve a larger community during spring break. “This provides an alternative that is people-centered, community-based and fun, with an eye toward experiential learning,” she says.

Westminster students built two picnic tables for an outdoor education area at Libertas School in Memphis, TN, during Alternative Spring Break 2019.

Although Westminster students have participated in other spring break service trips in the past, The Center for Faith and Service has sponsored Alternative Spring Break for four years. During that time, they traveled to Fort Worth, TX, Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA, and Memphis, TN.

Hawkins says the theme of Alternative Spring Break this year is “empowerment.” Students will learn from non-profit organizations about food justice, housing rights, immigrant and refugee rights, education equity and social enterprise.

“We’ll also eat delicious Nashville cuisine and visit some of the city’s most iconic sites,” Hawkins adds enthusiastically.

The trip is generously sponsored by Student Government Association funds. Nashville-area meal hosts include Erin Perry, ‘17, Flanny Flanigan, ’16, and others. The group will be hosted by Belle Meade United Methodist Church. They will reside in a dorm-style building on the church’s property.

Those seeking more from spring break are encouraged to participate.

“The best part of Alternative Spring Break is that students from different backgrounds and interests get to know one another in a unique way, away from campus, while learning and serving together,” Hawkins says, adding, “It’s a lot of fun!”

Space for Alternative Spring Break is limited to 10, and registration ends Feb. 17. A $15 deposit is required (scholarships are available).

Go online to register here.

For more information, email

Featured image, top: Westminster students enjoyed themselves during Alternative Spring Break 2019 in Memphis, TN.

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.