The Alternative Breaks program provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage and become immersed in direct "hands-on" service and experiential learning that are outside their everyday comforts of life.


Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize how everyday leaders shape and impact their community and the world
  • Understand the environmental, political, and socioeconomic, and social factors that impact the growth, development, and culture of the immersion destination.
  • Understand the complex nature of community engagement and community building as a function of responsible leadership and global citizenship.
  • Encourage active participation in the community and increase participants’ civic engagement.
  • Demonstrate proficient teamwork, communications skills, and leadership development as an active citizen throughout the immersion experience upon our return to the TAMU-CC community.


Goals of Alternative Break

  • Educate To educate participants on the critical cultural, social, political, and structural issues of communities in Corpus Christi and nationwide.
  • Engage To involve participants in direct civic, service, and leadership projects both the communities of this nation.
  • Theory of Practice To provide an opportunity for deep reflection and meaningful connection to knowledge, skills, and values through academic, personal, and social experience at TAMU-CC.
  • Critical Reflection To challenge participants to think critically about their role, purpose, and responsibility as a member of the community.
  • Application To empower participants to discover their purpose, vocation, and place as active citizens and change agents in the world and create next steps for community involvement. 

Alternative Winter Break 2018 (December 16th-20th, 2018): Hurricane Harvey Disaster Recovery in Houston, Texas

Summary of Trip
Our students will help rebuild a family's home. This may include hanging insulation or drywall, mudding/spackling, sanding, texturing, priming, painting, laying floors, and/or hanging trim, doors, and baseboards. Experienced AmeriCorps site supervisors will train and equip our students, keeping their safety a top priority.

Our students will also be able to experience a day in our country’s largest food bank, Houston Food Bank. Half of the day will be spent in the Portwall Warehouse and the other half in the Keegan Kitchen. Volunteer projects in the Portwall Warehouse vary based on need and may include inspecting/sorting food, repacking dry food into family-sized bags, stocking/cleaning the Emergency Food Pantry and more! Keegan Kitchen volunteers assist with meal prep and packaging of hot meals for daily distribution to community locations where children gather after school.

After a disaster, homeowners need recovery to be as prompt and predictable as possible in order to limit the amount of time they’re made to suffer the effects of displacement. SBP rebuilds for low-to-moderate income homeowners, placing a special focus on families with small children, the elderly, disabled persons, war veterans and the under-and uninsured.

SBP's proven-effective rebuilding model is based on the Toyota Production System (TPS) and is enhanced by AmeriCorps members and volunteer labor which enable SBP to rebuild disaster impacted homes in an average of 61 days, at 40% the cost of market rate contractors. 

The Houston Food Bank positively impacts the lives of many southeast Texans in their 18-county service area every day. During the 2017 – 2018 fiscal year, they lead the fight against hunger by serving 800,000 individuals. Because people often have to make difficult choices between feeding themselves and their families and paying for other necessities, food assistance can lift a big weight from their shoulders. In the first two months following Harvey’s landfall, 3x the normal amount of food and supplies were distributed.

Houston is a city bursting with Culture, Energy, and Dynamic Attractions. While in Houston, students will be immersed into cultural experiences aimed at enhancing their perspectives on issues plaguing our Texas communities but also avenues of cultural expression. Students will have the opportunity to learn about disaster response and relief, economic disparity, as well as the cultural, political, economic and personal dimensions of art.


The total trip cost is $125 which includes lodging, transportation, food, and some activities while in Houston.


The deadline to apply is October 19th, 2018 at 1 PM 

register here link


If you have any questions or concerns please contact Brandon Mandigo in UC 218, 361-825-2707 or email Brandon.mandigo@tamucc.edu.



Alternative Spring Break (March 9th-16th, 2019)

Alternative Spring Break provides an opportunity for students to make the most of their spring break by venturing across state borders and becoming immersed in a national social issue for six days while they volunteer their time for an important cause. 

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Brandon Mandigo