Alternative Break Project
The Alternative Break Project is a trip in which 15-30 brothers travel to an underprivileged school to engage in volunteer service. The project began in 2007 when Vice President of Chapter Development Erik Walschburger announced his plan to further increase the scope of Phi Sigma Pi's support of the organization. The inaugural trip was held at Carl T. Smith Middle School in January 2008.
The first three projects occurred in January. To increase the amount of Brothers who were able to attend, the project has occurred in May since the 2011 Alternative Break Project. During the trip, Brothers have the opportunity to interact with students, shadow Teach For America Corp Members, meet with the Teach For America Regional Office, and explore the town. Each year, a new project is planned to leave an impact on students and the school.
The 2012 Alternative Break Project was the first time with two locations in Newark, NJ and Houston, TX.
Alternative Break Project Trips
- 2008 Alternative Break Project
- 2009 Alternative Break Project
- 2010 Alternative Break Project
- 2011 Alternative Break Project
- 2012 Alternative Break Project
- 2013 Alternative Break Project
- 2014 Alternative Break Project
Funding and Contributions
The National Fraternity has set forth numerous initiatives to help brothers fund or contribute to the Alternative Break Trip. In 2008, the Phi Sigma Pi Foundation set forth a goal of raising $10,000.00 to help fund the trip. 2008-2010 Senior Vice President Matthew Nicoletta and Karen Cohick helped to create a fundraising page on the National Website and Joshua Marder and Jonah Goodman worked to create a facebook cause page, facilitating donations from brothers to the event. As of September 16th, 2008, 403 brothers had joined the facebook cause, making it one of the largest Phi Sigma Pi related groups on facebook.
During the 2009 National Convention, it was announced that the Phi Sigma Pi Foundation had established a new fund titled, "Making Our Own Rules". The funds raised will support Fraternity philanthropic programs such as the Alternative Break Project, Phi Sigma Pi Teachers Grants and the Phi Sigma Pi Student Essay Contest.