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From Servant Leadership to Social Justice

The Alternative Spring Break immersion program is an opportunity for students to explore the concepts of servant leadership and social justice — specifically around issues of poverty, homelessness and socioeconomic status.

March 16 – 23, 2024
Indianapolis, Indiana

Running March 16 - 23, the 2024 Alternative Spring Break immersion program will be in Indianapolis, Indiana, for the fourteenth consecutive year. Students will engage in hands-on service projects and discuss issues of servant leadership and social justice with Indianapolis organization leaders. Alternative Spring Break partner sites have included Horizon House, Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis, Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, Gleaners Food Bank, Hearts and Hands of Indiana, Providence Cristo Rey High School, Rebuilding the Wall and Wheeler Mission Ministries.

The immersion program costs $285 which covers all meals, travel, lodging, and all materials required. This program selects it's 20 student participants based on the application below. Applying does not guarantee participation. Additionally, it is worth all 30 hours of service-learning.

Applications for the 2024 immersion program will open in September 2023. Interested students can apply below, and will be notified about the status of their application.

Apply Here

The phrase "servant leadership" was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970, in an essay that launched the modern servant leadership movement. Greenleaf wrote that "the servant-leader is servant first ... with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions. The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served."

Learn more about the Alternative Spring Break

Testimonials • Alternative Spring Break

What was the most valuable component of this Alternative Spring Break immersion program?

I feel very motivated after this experience to start taking on a servant leadership role and continue in that role for the rest of my life. I know that if I can affect others’ lives and they in turn affect others’ lives that I can make a true contribution to social justice.

The people and the events were amazing. I had a great immersion program and enjoyed every minute of it.

Servant leadership has taught me personal responsibility for myself and the duty I have to serve others. Alternative Spring Break has forever changed my outlook on what is personal wealth.

I now appreciate what I have much more than I used to. This immersion program put a new perspective on my life and makes me want to continue to help others.

I’ve always had a passion for helping others and this has motivated me to keep doing what I do, and even more.

I found what I was missing in my life. I want to change the way I help people so that it’s more beneficial to them, not just a temporary fix. This immersion program taught me ways I could do that.

I have an immensely greater appreciation for everyone as a whole, for who they are and the situation other people face.

I have learned how important it is to use the privilege that I’ve been given to help other people in need and that life is far too short to not spend time making a difference in other people’s lives.

The most valuable component of the immersion program was the combination of the group and the work that we did. We formed incredible bonds through helping others and it was truly an incredible experience.

My attitude towards leadership and its relevance has been solidified and my perspective towards homelessness and poverty has deepened. We were exposed to people and things that most aren’t and it was powerful to see our world in new ways.

I have learned about servant leadership and how to use my leadership skills to better help others without myself in mind.

The service projects themselves were absolutely the most valuable, for so many reasons! For the camaraderie, the activity, the inspiration, the practical application of concepts and the establishment of relationships through work.

I have learned that servant leadership is attainable for anyone, even someone who is quiet and doesn’t fit the typical leader image. Also, I’ve learned that healing is real and it is possible for people to undergo true transformation. I’ve seen it on this immersion program and that has been wonderfully uplifting.

Having 17 new best friends who want to be servant leaders similar to me. I love that we bonded really well and used our talents to help each other grow while helping others in need.

Group interaction. The memories together are phenomenal.

The most valuable component was the variety of sites we volunteered at. Giving back to people is important and there are people everywhere that need our help. Being able to volunteer in different places helped develop me and change my outlook of the world.

Honestly one of the most valuable components of this immersion program was the experience of being with 20 random strangers in a small cabin in the middle of nowhere for a week. I have never been more moved/inspired by a group of people who aspire to make the world better any way they can.

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