Alternative Student Breaks provides educational and service focused trips for students

Published: January 27, 2022

Article body

Immediately following the last day of the fall semester, groups of Auburn students dispersed across the Southeast to volunteer and learn with Alternative Student Breaks, or ASB, which fully engages students in an affordable, educational experience focusing on pressing social and environmental issues to promote active citizenship.

During the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, ASB collaborated with Auburn’s Black Student Union and visited Selma, Alabama where students learned about Civil Rights history, walked the Edmund Pettus Bridge and participated in volunteer work throughout the city.

Next, ASB will host spring break trips, March 6-11, across three Southeast locations including Greenville Free Medical Clinic in Greenville, South Carolina, Serve 901 in Memphis, Tennessee and St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve in Port St. Joe, Florida. Additionally, ASB is working to finalize details for two spring semester weekend trips.

According to Emerson Barret and Caroline Condon, ASB executive board members, ASB provides students the opportunity to become educated on differing topics and then use that knowledge to serve them no matter where they are.

Condon, a biomedical sciences major, became involved with ASB during her sophomore year after hearing about an opportunity to serve in a free medical clinic located in Greenville, South Carolina.

“I was looking for opportunities to learn about healthcare and the opportunities that would come after graduation if I continued to pursue a medical degree,” Condon said. “What I found with ASB was so much more than I anticipated. I learned from many different physicians, saw the consistent need for healthcare professionals and volunteers, and I learned the importance of serving the community. Volunteering with ASB has changed the way that I view my role in the community, and now I am constantly looking for ways that I can give back but also for ways that I can learn from the people around me.”

This past December, ASB locations included Matthews, North Carolina, where students volunteered at the Matthews Free Medical Clinic, Nashville, Tennessee, where students volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee and New Orleans, where students volunteered at the Animal Rescue of New Orleans.

One student who served at the Animal Rescue of New Orleans was so touched by their experience that they adopted one of the rescue dogs, Blaze, and brought him to his forever home here on the Plains.

For ASB to be successful, Trip Advisors are needed. Barrett and Condon shared that these advisors play an integral role in supporting the student leader and participants while also actively participating in the service experience.

“From listening to Taylor Swift’s entire ‘Red’ album in the minivan to group grocery shopping to learning about students’ fears, dreams and life plans, I got to connect with students in a unique way,” Charlotte Brown, recent Trip Advisor and Student Involvement assistant director, said. “Learning about a new nonprofit was a great benefit too.”

ASB is currently seeking Trip Advisors for their spring break trips. Advisor roles are open to staff, faculty and graduate assistants.

If you are interested in becoming a Trip Advisor, email Brown at

All full-time Auburn students, including graduate students, can attend ASB trips. To learn more, click here.

Submitted by: Payton Beck