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Alternate Spring Break (ASB) is a student run University of Pennsylvania organization that sponsors community service trips to various locations across the country. Participants spend their spring breaks performing worthwhile community service work, ranging from building homes for low-income families to rehabilitating the environment along the Appalachian Trail.


  • To promote community service and involvement through direct, hands-on service opportunities for students.
  • To expose students to a new environment and lifestyle.
  • To meet the needs of the people we are serving, as defined by the host organization, and facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship between community and students.
  • To provide this experience within a service learning framework; i.e., to provide pre-service training and education, and reflection activities during and after the project.
  • To promote unity amongst a diverse group of people through team-building and bonding activities.
  • To provide leadership experiences for site leaders and develop coordinators for future projects.
  • To do good for others and leave our mark on the communities we serve.


Alternate Spring Break (ASB) was founded in 1990 by a group of Penn students who wanted to give others an opportunity to spend their spring breaks doing meaningful and fun community service work.

Originally ASB participants worked exclusively with Habitat for Humanity, a nationwide organization that confronts the issues of housing and homelessness by building affordable low-income housing. In 1997, ASB expanded its focus to include trips addressing the environment, education, and inner city poverty. This year we plan on continuing our involvement with Habitat and other community service organizations.

Over the last two decades, ASB has developed into a hugely successful organization. Each year, over one hundred Penn students participate on ASB trips to various parts of the country. Our ASB alumni pool numbers in the thousands!

Join the ASB Listserv today and be the first to learn about upcoming news, events and deadlines! E-mail altbreak@gmail.com to sign up today!


    My most memorable ASB experience was fixing a roof in Dallas, TX for an older woman.  I was totally afraid of heights at the beginning of the week but by then end was hustling around the roof with no trouble! - Jason Mayer, Class of 1998

      On the way back to Phoenix, there were storms. I was driving a van that hit a medium sized boulder that had been washed into the highway by the rain! Both tires on the right side of the van blew out, but no one got hurt. We had to wait in a diner for hours until the rental company could exchange our van. - Tom Huber, Class of 1996

      I remember the contrast of installing insulation in an attic in 100+ degree weather in Phoenix and seeing snow at the top of the Grand Canyon on the same trip. - Andrea Gift Allan, Class of 1998

      If you're an ASB alumus and would like to share your story, e-mail altbreak@gmail.com. We love to hear about ASB trips past.