On October 22, 2014, Howard University was named to President Barack Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, which is the highest federal award an institution can receive for service learning and civic engagement. The Alternative Spring Break program (ASB) was a major focal point in this distinction as Howard University students have bypassed vacations during spring break and instead rolled up their sleeves to serve those in underserved communities across America.

For more than twenty years, Howard University’s ASB program has been committed to serving communities in need and involving students in meaningful service. ASB connects students to the significance of their education and prepares them to be servant leaders for the nation and the world.

The program gained tremendous momentum in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and continued to expand when students refused to be merely sympathetic in the response to earthquake victims of Haiti. In response to the natural disaster, students spent their Spring Break working with orphans and helped rebuild a school in Haiti, launching ASB’s international outreach. In March 2015, Howard University’s ASB program will incorporate two new sites, St. Louis and Newark. The program will send over 450 students to Baltimore, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis, Newark and Haiti.

ASB is only made possible each year because of the generosity of individual donors and institutional partners who provide the support and resources necessary to ensure the safety and care of over 450 students across several U.S. cities and Haiti.