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Get Involved with VOLbreaks!

How Do I Participate in a VOLbreak Trip?

Two students brushing down a horse

What is a lottery system?

Lottery is where you sign-up for your VOLbreak trip! The lottery sign-up allows for everyone to have the same chance at getting a spot on a trip of their choice. It is possible to come to the lottery and not get on a trip as demand sometimes exceeds the spaces available, but there is a wait list for each trip.

To access the 2019 Spring Lottery Packet, CLICK HERE.

Come to lottery with an open mind; all trips will be a rewarding experience.

  • Bring your completed lottery packet a $100 non-refundable deposit (cash/check ONLY made out to the Alternative Break Program), and a color copy of your drivers license.
  • Upon arrival to lottery you will be assigned your official lottery number, once your lottery packet has been reviewed.
  • If you are not there by the start time, you will only receive an opportunity to sign-up following the entire lottery process.
    • If you cannot make it on time or at all, communicate with us before lottery and we will have someone from our program serve as a proxy for you. 
  • A random number generator will begin selecting numbers. When a person’s number is called, each person will proceed to sign up for the trip of their choice until each trip is full.
  • Once you sign-up for a program, you must submit your deposit. Deposits for 2019 Spring VOLbreaks trips are $100 (non-refundable, cash/check made out to the Alternative Break Program). 

Student Coordinators

The VOLbreaks Program receives guidance and support from a group of dedicated and passionate student leaders who work year-round to develop quality alternative break trips. These Student Coordinators are responsible for the organizational side of the VOLbreaks Program and work closely with the staff and graduate assistant throughout the year. These students plan and implement the annual ABL retreat, assist with ABL training, advise a small group of ABLs throughout the year, and plan the program wide events like community meetings, reorientation, and fund raising initiatives.

The VOLbreaks Program relies heavily on the commitment and passion of the coordinators to help in the planning stages and implementation of all VOLbreaks trips. Student who are interested in holding a position should be passionate about service, leadership, social justice, and mentorship. All student coordinators are required to attend one meeting per week throughout the entirety of the academic year and hold regular meetings with their small group of ABLs.

The 2018-2019 Student Coordinator Position Description can be found HERE.

If you have any questions regarding the Student Coordinator position, please email Natalie Frankel at

Alternative Break Leaders (ABLs)

Students in a tug-of-war at a construction siteAlternative break leaders (ABLs) are the back bone of planning an Alternative Break. ABL responsibilities include researching a trip theme, selecting a location where that theme is prevalent, finding a community partner for the group to serve alongside, planning reflection, and attending reorientation. ABLs are required to participate in a training program to prepare them for the above responsibilities.

The 2018-2019 ABL Position Description can be found HERE. Please note that all ABLs are required to attend ABL Training on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:40-4:55 PM. ABL applications for the 2018-2019 year are closed.

To see a full list of our 18-19 ABLs, please click the following link, ABL Contact Info.

If you have any questions, contact Natalie Frankel at or 865-974-1039.

Learning Partners

An integral part of this program is our faculty/staff and graduate assistant learning partners (LPs). These members are not involved in planning the trip but serve in an advisory capacity throughout the duration of the trip. Learning partners aid the student trip leaders if any issues arise on the trip, and they get to fully experience an Alternative Break trip while volunteering alongside the students. More information about the LP role can be found in this Learning Partner FAQs document. Learning Partner applications for 2018-2019 will be open in the beginning of June through the beginning of July. For those who are interested in serving as an LP for the VOLbreaks program, you should still fill out and submit this ‘permission to attend form.‘

Serving as a Learning Partner is a fantastic way to meet other UT students and staff while giving back to a new community. There is no trip cost associated with being a Learning Partner. Each trip consists of twelve students, two student trip leaders, and one learning partner.

If you have questions, e-mail Natalie Frankel at

Support VOLbreaks!

Your contribution will go directly to the students participants and will help to defer their costs!

Give to the VOLbreaks program!

You can select a specific student to receive your gift, or you can give to the general support fund. No gift is too small; every little bit helps to offset participant trip costs.