Students who are looking for an opportunity to volunteer and learn about a social issue over winter or spring break should consider the Panther Breakaway program. Panther Breakaway, Georgia State’s alternative break program, is offering nine unique trips this year throughout the southeast on a variety of different social issues.
Winter break trips last from December 14-18, 2016 and include the following trip topics and locations: race relations in Birmingham, hunger and homelessness in Atlanta and immigration in Jacksonville. Spring break trips last from March 12-18, 2017 and include the following trip topics and locations: women’s issues in Columbia, urban education in New Orleans, animal rights in Asheville, disaster relief in a location to be determined, access to justice in Atlanta and community building in Costa Rica.
Year after year, Panther Breakaway participants rant about the great times that they have had on their trips. However, the experience is one that lasts a long time after participants return. While on their trips, volunteers spend their time serving the community and better educating themselves on the social issues on which the trip is focused, one of the more meaningful aspects of the trip. Once returning, participants are encouraged to plug back into volunteering and social advocacy in the Atlanta community. The trip experience is capped off with a closing dinner in April, where participants share memories about their trips and reminisce about the great experiences that they had, rounding out a wonderful experience for all of the participants.
Personally, Panther Breakaway has provided me a great way to get involved in communities in other cities and in Atlanta and has helped develop my passion for social justice and community service. Having been on three trips thus far, I can honestly say that Panther Breakaway, and my experiences on these trips, have radically shaped my world view on a number of different issues, while also providing me with leadership experience and the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.
Students who think this sounds like a great experience should fill out and submit an application for a trip. Applications for Panther Breakaway trips are due on October 28, 2016 at 5:15 p.m. in Student Center East, Suite 304. Winter break trips cost $300, and spring break trips cost $350. Students need to get their applications in before all of the trips are full.