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Alternative Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is an organization that coordinates week-long service trips which take MIT students outside of the Boston area. Their purpose is to give the MIT community an opportunity to be better informed of the issues surrounding their community and to be better leaders.

Since 1996 students have traveled on a variety of trips that have allowed them to educate others about the environment and to teach alongside professionals involved in Teach for America. Past participants have also served in an AIDS clinic and built homes in association with Habitat for Humanity. The time commitment before the trip is insubstantial and the cost is incredibly low.

The students who participate in ASB can also receive three or six units of credit in Political Science.

There is an application process in late November for the spring break trips. This year there will be trips to Canada, Puerto Rico, New Orleans, Washington, DC, Baltimore and other locales. Next year’s trips will have a variety of focuses such as: teaching in the inner city, Habitat for Humanity, and experiencing first hand how a universal health care system might work. ASB funds most of the cost of the trips but the fees vary on the distance of the trip. For car trips our fee is $40 for an entire week and for trips that require a plane ride the fee tends to be in the $150-200 range but is heavily subsidized by ASB.

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Circle K

Circle K is the largest, co-ed collegiate organization. It is a group of students dedicated to community service, and is associated with Kiwanis and Key Club. The group sponsors a wide range of activities, ranging in time commitment and frequency. Projects are broken down into weekly and one-day events. We currently have two weekly events: Hawthorne Youth Community Center in Roxbury and Margaret Fuller Food Pantry in Cambridge.

The HYCC program is a tutoring program in which an MIT student travels weekly to the center to a child. Once a pair is made, the mentorship can last a term, a year, and even four years.

At the food pantry, volunteers help give food to those in need, help with the computer database, and/or help organize the facility. The group has also held two fairs at the Margaret Fuller house with the children who attend the after school program there.

Some of the group’s one day events include: blood drives, a Halloween Party at a local Boys and Girls Club, Thanksgiving Dinner at a homeless shelter, a winter food drive, and an Easter Egg Hunt in MIT hallways, to name a few.

In addition to service, Circle K has a social side. We interact with different schools in the Northeast District at smaller events and district-wide events, such as officer training, member workshops, and a large convention in April. At the last convention, prizes and recognition are given to each of the clubs. Last year, MIT won 2nd place for a single service event (the Halloween party), and Most Improved Club awards.

For more information:

Project HEALTH

Project HEALTH (Helping Empower, Advocate & Lead Through Health) is a multidisciplinary service organization which leverages the creative vision of undergraduates and the expert knowledge of Boston Medical Center professionals to work to ensure that every child grows up free from the obstacles of poor health.

The three components of this organization, Service, Mentorship, and Reflection, give undergraduates the opportunity to engage in meaningful service programs under the project supervision and professional guidance of a mentor and to understand the context of the societal forces they encounter and the public policy underlying their public service through weekly reflection discussion groups with Harvard and MIT faculty, BMC staff members, and community leaders.

Over 30 volunteers are currently involved in projects, which include a Computer Skills/Job Training Program for women on welfare, a grief counseling program for siblings of ill children, and a project that helps families at BMC find needed social services though the use of an information kiosk.

We will be holding an information session for all interested participants on September 9 at 8pm in 20 Chimneys in the Student Center.

For more information: or