New Alternative celebrates the “crazy” in each one who chooses to spend their time learning about social justice issues and serving a community that is not their home. We love alternative breaks and partnering with colleges, universities and other groups who choose to spend their time this way. Over the past eight years, we’ve hosted thousands of college students from over 75 universities.
If you are looking for a fresh take on service-learning, we are happy you found our website! New Alternative is more than a service-learning trip. It is an intensive week-long leadership training that uses the principles of nonviolence to empower students to be change agents and community builders wherever they go. Our trips incorporate education, service opportunities and a lot of fun -- making for an experience that challenges and changes each participant. If you want to learn more, contact us!
New Alternative trips are designed with your group’s interests in mind. While no two trips are exactly alike, we focus on five common elements to create a meaningful experience:
- Participate in our intensive New Way training.
- Partner with local organizations for service projects.
- Learn about Atlanta’s roots in the struggle for equal rights by visiting local museums such as the King Center and Center for Civil and Human Rights.
- Debrief your daily experiences--we provide trip leaders with the level of support that’s right for their group, from full facilitation by an experienced group host to a set of tried-and-true guiding questions to a “hands-off” approach.
- Have fun and meet other like-minded individuals through nighttime activities--trivia, karaoke, and more!
Read on for an overview of the entire New Alternative service-learning break program.
We believe in the importance of blending education with service to provide Alternative Breakers with a week they will never forget. Groups generally participate in our New Way training, designed to foster open and supportive group dynamics, challenge personal biases, and prepare students for the ongoing practice of nonviolence. We will also work with your group to identify local organizations offering service opportunities that fit your group’s social justice interests. Whether you would like to serve homeless youth, support families starting over after entering the U.S. as refugees, participate in urban farming, or anything in between, we can help craft service days that give your group an outlet while also being a perfect complement to New Way training. Finally, we believe in working hard and having fun. Nighttime activities such as trivia and karaoke help to round out the experience and give alternative breakers a chance to meet others outside of their group. Read HERE to learn more about Who We Are.
GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS
Are you seeking a change more enduring than a fresh profile pic on Facebook? We encourage students to use their New Alternative experience to reflect on what they hope to get out of life and how to apply what they learn to directly impact their future.
While service is an important component of your trip, it is not the sole focus of our program, so it is important for groups considering our site to understand our emphasis on education and training. That said, we strive to customize each group’s visit to provide a well-balanced trip that incorporates the right amount of education and service.
One of the unique benefits of the New Alternative experience is that we work alongside your college/university in coordinating housing and activities for your college while in Atlanta.
The New Alternative program is here to assist your group in each step of the planning process. We’ve created a base cost for each participant in our program of $220/per person including two days of New Way training, six nights of housing and an administrative fee.
We have a variety of housing connections in the Atlanta area, all of which include a kitchen and showers. If your group is interested in coordinating housing independently, please let us know when you apply and participants will only be charged $75 per person for training and administrative fee.
ACTIVITIES AND OPTIONS
New Way Training
New Way training is the core of our New Alternative experience. It provides participants with tangible tools for dealing with the conflict they face in everyday situations and teaches principles of nonviolence that have been used by change-makers around the world. New Alternative participants regularly give this training high marks and many ask for additional training because they are able to apply what they learn right away in their own lives. This provides an effective platform for team building and diversity training as well.
While the educational component is optional, we strongly recommend that our participants take advantage of all that the Atlanta area has to offer in regards to human rights and social justice learning opportunities. Groups interested in educational activities will be responsible for paying the attraction directly. HERE are several recommendations for your group.
We will work with your group to identify service opportunities that line up with your interests. Atlanta is a vibrant city with organizations doing all kinds of good work and willing to partner with groups for specific community projects. We believe that the New Way training experience becomes even more meaningful when participants are able to immediately connect their learning with real-life issues.
Evening Activities and Reflection Sessions
We offer evening activities such as speaker panels, presentations, videos/movie nights, and reflection sessions with our staff and volunteers to help participants process the experience. And don’t forget about the fun parts -- trivia, karaoke, and time to be with other like-minded people!
Ready for a New Alternative? please contact Emily@somethingnew.org for more information.