Going on an Outreach Trip
Update: Read about our 2013 outreach trips here.
What is an Outreach trip?
Our outreach trips place teams of students and staff in domestic and international settings during each school year break to engage in community service and experiential learning. Through these experiences, communities benefit from the tangible work completed, while students gain a broader understanding of the world around them. It is our intent to offer as many opportunities as possible for students to experience service and learning in several domestic and international locations, and are affordable for all who participate. This will mark the twentieth year of the program and we are excited about the ongoing student commitment to outreach work.
Where do we go?
There are several trips offered throughout the course of the academic year for fall break, winter break, and spring break. Our international locations are Costa Rica, Ecuador, Jamaica, and Haiti. Our domestic locations are Miami, New Orleans, and New York. Find more information about this year's trips including where we are going, number of participants, and the cost, here.
How much does it cost and will I be able to afford it?
Last year our trips cost anywhere from $150-$1,864, including a $50 (domestic) and $150 (international) non-refundable deposit. The cost of each trip includes all travel expenses including transportation, accommodation, and food (unless otherwise noted). Need-based financial aid is available for most of our trips. The Outreach Office raises a substantial amount of money for student financial aid and staff costs. Our funding cycle operates on a year-to-year basis; meaning the money we raise is spent the same year. Students are asked to fill out a "Financial Application" form that states how much he or she can pay and will include detailed questions concerning finances. Some students pay the full amount, some pay the middle range, and some will need substantial financial aid. A student's need does not hinder his or her application from being considered to participate on our trips and therefore should not discourage anyone from applying!
Am I eligible to take part in an outreach trip and, if so, how can I go?
If you are a student — YES you are eligible, all you have to do is apply and interview for each trip that interests you! Group selection for outreach trips is done by trip leaders based on applicants' previous community service experience, class year, and interview. If you have been on a previous trip before, you may want to apply for a trip you have not been on so that others may have an opportunity to experience the trip. There are some limited student leader positions available to students interested in repeating a trip. These student leaders assist staff leaders with organizing all aspects of the trip.
What is the commitment?
Once you are selected for a trip and agree to participate there is an expected level of commitment. Each trip holds weekly meetings during the month(s) leading up to the trips and attendance is mandatory. All outreach trip participants are required to take part in a letter writing campaign to solicit donations, as well as participate in their trip's fundraising initiatives. The money raised goes to outreach supplies and other needed materials.