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Press Release  
Release Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 3:47 PM
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Media Contact:
Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist

Howard University Kicks Off 20th Anniversary of Alternative Spring Break Program

Students will help tackle issues such as gun control, homelessness and illiteracy in major U.S. cities

Students will return to Chicago (site shown) as well as Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis, New Orleans, Washington D.C. and Haiti as part of the 20th anniversary of Howard's Alternative Spring Break program.

WASHINGTON (March 4, 2014) – Each year, hundreds of Howard University students give up spring vacations and trips home to honor the University’s motto of “truth and service” during the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program. From March 8 to March 14, nearly 400 students will volunteer more than 16,000 hours in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, New Orleans, Washington D.C. and Haiti.  Students will help tackle societal issues such as gun control, homelessness and illiteracy.

Since 1994, the ASB program has fostered a spirit of service and leadership among Howard University students.  The program is coordinated through the Office of the Dean of the Chapel with significant institutional support from the Office of the President coupled with the help of generous donations from Howard alumni, students, staff, faculty and residents from Washington, Maryland and Virginia.

“Every time I come back from ASB, I come back changed,” said Taylor Davis, a junior nursing student.  She is scheduled to volunteer in Detroit this year and has volunteered in Memphis and Atlanta the last two years.  “As students, we come to give to our communities and quickly realize that those communities have just as much to give us in return.”

Students will depart from Cramton Auditorium on Saturday, March 8 at 12 p.m.  Before departing, students will participate in a send-off ceremony at 10 a.m. at the auditorium.

Alternative Spring Break Locations and Activities


Baltimore, Md

Locations: BLDPHS, YO! Career Academy, and Academy to Boys & Girls Club

  • Work with alternative schools to help students prepare for the Maryland State Exams and progress to the next grade level.
  • Work with grassroots community programs to help in their organizational efforts.
  • Mentor elementary and middle school aged students

Chicago, Ill.

Locations: St. Sabina, Downtown Advocacy, Donda’s House & Hip Hop Detox, and Brave Youth

  • Mentor high school students and work on implementing better gun control through petitioning, protesting and community engagement.

Detroit, Mich.

Locations: Pulaski Elementary School, Osborn High School Group, Christ Child House, Christian Guidance House, and Detroit Rescue

  • Work with a number of different schools on reading comprehension skills, college prep, and writing.
  • Participate in service work in the community and mentor younger students to boost educational morale.

Washington D.C.

Locations: Dunbar High School, Stokes Public Charter School, Capital Area Food Bank, Metro Teen A.I.D.S., and Homeless Playtime Project

  • Participate in service work catering to those infected with HIV and those who are homeless.
  • Encourage eduction and skill development in high schools through leadership development and academic enrichment.

Memphis, Tenn.

Locations: Cornerstone Prep, Shelby County Schools, Caritas Village, Memphis Teacher Residency, and Education Summit

  • Teach health/sexual education to at-risk children.
  • Plant gardens and produce informative videos about their experience.
  • Work with a local elementary school to help the lowest- performing students in reading and mathematics.
  • Host an education summit that will focus on helping students to define success and plan for the future.
New Orleans, La.

Locations: Fannie C. Williams Charter School, Lower Ninth Ward Village Community Center

  • Provide educational mentorship for students.
  • Support post-Katrina restoration efforts in the Ninth Ward.

Locations: Beyond Borders (Jacmel), various sites in Ecole Shalom

  • Conduct dental hygiene workshops/ hearing screenings/ and basic health trainings.
  • Address human trafficking. Volunteer at advocacy programs.



Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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