Alternative Service Breaks


Alternative Service Breaks (ASB)


The Y’s Alternative Service Break (ASB) Program exposes Virginia Tech students to critical social issues through intensive immersion experiences. Students live and work alongside residents of their host communities on projects addressing critical, unmet needs. ASBs are a chance to travel and explore cultural, political, and economic differences in a safe and caring learning environment that is drug and alcohol free.

Trips are offered during academic holidays (fall, winter, spring breaks) and on weekends throughout each semester. Both domestic and international service trips have been offered. Recent past trips include:

  • International Community Development in the Dominican Republic
  • Hurricane relief in Louisiana and Mississippi
  • Environmental Restoration in Florida
  • Homelessness Issues in Washington, DC
  • Sustainable Gardening in Schellesburg, PA
  • Appalachian Community Involvement in Ivanhoe, VA

All ASB trips are student-led with a focus on seven core components:

  • Strong Direct Service
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Orientation
  • Education
  • Training
  • Reflection
  • Reorientation

The hands-on service experience you will gain through ASB will expose you the realities and challenges of community development and promote fuller comprehension of your place in your community and the world. Join us today for the experience of a lifetime!


Donate to ASB!

Help fund our next Alternative Service Break!


Email or call 540-231-3734 for information on our latest trip plans.



Fall 2013


The YMCA Alternative Service Breaks program traveled to Pulaski/Radford, VA, for the first half of Thanksgiving Break to work with Beans & Rice, a local non-profit organization dedicated to serving the community.  Some of the activities we helped with included:

  • Building decks, insulating interior walls, and preparing the foundation for the placement of water pipes as part of the tornado relief efforts.
  • Packing up food and distributing it to community members as part of an affordable housing program.
  • Volunteering at a local elementary after-school program playing games, learning about etiquette, and helping with homework.
  • Going on an Economic Tour to learn about the surrounding areas and the history of Radford/Pulaski and to gain a better understanding of what the needs of the community are.


Spring 2014

Making A Difference: YMCA Service Trip to Mandeville, Jamaica

March 7th – 14th

Do you want to do something different for your spring break? Join the YMCA at Virginia Tech’s Student Programs as we travel to work in orphanages in Jamaica with the Campus YMCA of Indianapolis! To learn more, check out our video here.

Interest meetings will be held Wednesday, November 13th and Tuesday, November 19th at 6:30pm in the Blue Ridge Conference Room in Squires.

Feel free to direct questions to trip leaders Scott Trang and Rachel Atkins: