Ultimate Spring Break Challenge Service-Learning Program

The Ultimate Spring Break Challenge Service-Learning program is based on the strong success of benchmark programs at North Carolina State University, James Madison University, University of Maine, Kansas State University, and Ohio State University. Past Purdue trips have included Habitat for Humanity, Katrina outreach in New Orleans, soup kitchens and food pantries in New York City, and with Give Kids the World in Orlando, Florida.  These experiences have proven to be life changing for the participants and provide an opportunity to reflect on the privileges that we have, while helping those in need.

Goals of the Program

  • To help develop and enhance a value for public service and civic engagement within the students.
  • To expose students to diversity, including cultural immersion, political and economic differences.
  • To help students identify their privileges and begin to use these to break down the systems that affords unearned privilege in our society.
  • To provide opportunities for students to reflect on their roles in a global community through break-oriented programs which immerse students in different cultures, heighten social awareness and advocate for life-long social action.
  • To provide an opportunity to interact with diverse individuals (domestic and international students) and practice communicating via servant leadership.
  • To be trained and immersed in purposeful service experience designed to connect students and community members while enhancing personal growth, mutual awareness and life-long learning.

What Participants Say About Their Experience with USBC

“All in all, I found this to be a very fulfilling trip. I learned a lot about myself, about my limits, and how to deal with others’ differences when working in a team. I would, without a doubt, recommend this trip to others in the future. I look forward to considering USBC as a strong option for next year’s spring break, as well as the possibility of stepping up in a leadership role. To all who spent countless hours making this trip happen, THANK YOU! You too, have made a difference in our lives and those we touched in New Orleans.” -Dan Salazar

“This trip really made me realize how rewarding it is to go out and help. Not only do you come out feeling like a better person, but this feeling of achievement shines through your personality and outlook on life. Knowing that you personally made a difference in someone’s life is a sensation that can’t be replaced with anything.” -Margaret Brennan

“Overall the trip was one of the best experiences of my life. I grew more than I could have imagined. It sounds incredibly sappy, but I definitely learned a lot and grew emotionally. I made some amazing friends, and did great work. And I helped complete strangers move on with their lives and have a chance to go back home. It was amazing.” -Nimisha Bajaj

Team Member Expectations

Thank you for your interest in the Purdue University Residences Ultimate Spring Break Challenge! We are excited about your potential participation in this year’s trip. Please review the following expectations for participants and make sure you can meet the requirements before applying.

  • Currently reside in University Residences.
  • Make a financial commitment of \$200.00.
  • Attend approximately 3–4 Team Meetings in the Spring semester.  Excused absences must be communicated in advance, and are only granted for exams, family emergencies, or instances deemed appropriate by a USBC administrator.
  • Actively participate in tasks at the work and living site.
  • Comply with all health/safety guidelines set forth by the service organization, University Residences, and Purdue University.
  • Refrain from any use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs throughout the duration of USBC, even if you are of age.
  • Complete a personal journal and final reflection write-up (approximately 2–3 pages about your experience).
  • Write thank-you letters throughout the experience.
  • Actively participate in fund-raising efforts.

Logistical Information

  • Lodging, meals, and transportation are included in the cost of trip. We are grateful to have support from many community resources and granting organizations to offer the trip at a reasonable cost for you.
  • Included in your total cost will be fun activities…there might be additional items that you will want to spend money on, but you will be notified of those in advance.

Alcohol and Drug Policy

Due to personal safety, liability, and team dynamics, USBC is an alcohol and drug-free program. All participants are expected to abstain from the use of alcohol and drugs throughout the duration of the trip. If a team member is found to be in violation of this policy, he or she will be sent home immediately (flight home will be the student’s responsibility). The participant will be responsible for the full cost of the trip, as well as any additional costs incurred by an early departure. Additionally, Purdue University and University Residences Policies are in effect for the duration of the trip and team training time.