"It's a very rare opportunity to be able to give in such a holistic way as ABE provides and it teaches you not only about your site but yourself." -2016 Co-Leader
Alternative Break Experience (ABE) programs exist to teach, practice, enhance and embed the charisma and mission elements of the College of Saint Benedict. ABE trips commit to:
- Raising awareness of social issues and injustices, such as poverty, racism, and environmental issues
- Encouraging reflection and questioning about the role of social structures in the perpetuation of poverty, injustice, etc.
- Moving from an awareness of social issues to an integration of justice and service into everyday lives
- Encouraging a polycentric world view which recognizes and values diversity of culture and perspective
- Encouraging shared leadership and individual leadership in the spirit of service.
- Integrating spirituality into the fabric of the experience
- Approaching the trips as a partnership with the people at the site and not simply charity on our part
- Fostering a sense of respect and community among the participants themselves, as well as with the people at the sites
- Providing an opportunity for students to have a fun and safe break, while challenging them to go beyond their comfort zones
Qualities and Characteristics of ABE Co-Leaders
- Openness and concern for the participants
- Willingness to be a co-learner with the participants
- Willingness to give guidance and direction and accept responsibility while encouraging student and group leadership when possible
- Honesty and respectfulness toward the participants and the site community
- Ability to deal with problems and conflicts constructively
- Concern for issues of justice
- Openness to diverse perspectives and faith stances
- Patience. You may not get all information as quickly as you like but you will receive all necessary information before departure. More information in Frequently Asked Questions
Responsibilities/Duties as a Co-Leader
- Attend participant information meetings and co-leader trainings
- Interview applicants expressing interest in trip
- Select group members
- Become acquainted with the assigned site and related issues
- Coordinate trip itinerary/logistics/fundraising
- Coordinate specific activities with your site contact person
- Gather group together at least once per month before departure to prepare for trip and build a sense of community
- Attend to ongoing needs and issues as they arise, before, during, or immediately after trip (conflict resolution, group dynamics, required paperwork, etc)
- Respond to emergency situations with students
- Pick-up and return rental vans in a timely and responsible manner
- Integrate reflection into the experience
- Orientate the participants with ABE's Philosophy of Service and prepare them to lead reflection
- Cooperate and maintain contact with the ABE staff
- Meet all deadlines as outlined by ABE staff (financial, paperwork, etc)
- Handle the financial paperwork/budget/money for group (fundraising, balance expense sheets, receipts, etc)
- Be an informed resource person for your group
- Recognize any assumptions/expectations you have for the trip and work to reduce and eliminate them in order to be open to every experience while on your ABE. Assist participants with this as well.
Wish to apply?
Fill out the Co-Leader Application online!
All Co-Leader Applications are due September 13th by 12:00noon.
$100 deposit due with acceptance of a Co-Leader position, due September 25th by 4:30PM.
*Co-Leaders must be on campus both semesters.
Contact ABE if you have any questions at [email protected]