Henderson joins Break Away network

Henderson State University has become the first Arkansas member of the Break Away network and will offer students the chance to engage in nontraditional spring break opportunities in 2017.

Formed in 1991, Break Away is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing tools and training for partner colleges and universities to create spring break programs that focus on community engagement. The program currently has a network of over 200 chapter schools and more than 500 nonprofit partners.

“Henderson State’s alternative break program will be student led, composed of service-learning trips that aim to help our students become more active citizens,” said Vice President of Student and External Affairs Dr. Lewis Shepherd. “Through these opportunities, our students should begin to think critically about social issues such as poverty, health and wellness, education and the environment.”

The program will be housed in Henderson State’s Community Education Center.

“The alternative spring break program will help our students make strong connections with their communities,” said Sheryl Strother, who will lead the program. “This plan will provide student engagement and development beyond the classroom, one of the priorities in our campus strategic plan.”

In 2015, Break Away’s programs were open to 23,783 participants who gave over 1.2 million hours of direct service. About 83 percent of the 2015 programs are either pursuing long-term relationships with community partners or encouraging a balance in return trips and new offerings.