Center for Academic & Global Engagement Service-Learning

AWOL Trips

AWOL sponsors service-learning trips during the University's winter and spring breaks.

Examples of Previous AWOL Programs:


AWOL Chicago:  "Urban Injustice"
  • Issues: inner-city poverty and gang issues
  • Location: Chicago
  • Projects include working with organizations such as Cease Fire, which advocates for gang prevention; and Inspiration Café, which provides food and support services to those living on the streets of Chicago. 
AWOL Belize:  "An International Perspective"
  • Issues: Human rights, education and health in the small country
  • Location:  San Ignacio, Belize, Central America
  • Projects include working through ProWorld Service Corps with a variety of organizations in the area working to improve the economic challenges in the developing nation.
AWOL Detroit – "Motor City Blight Busting"
  • Issues:  Detroit has long been known as the heart of the American auto industry, but today roughly 1/3 of adults and 1/2 of children in Detroit are living below the poverty line.
  • Location:  Detroit, Michigan
  • Projects include working with issues of urban poverty by working with food distribution centers, children's organizations and homeless assistance programs.
AWOL New Orleans:  "Serving in the Lower Ninth"
  • Issues:  Ongoing recovery from Hurricanes Katrina & Rita
  • Location:  New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Projects include community building projects and working with children in after-school programs.
AWOL Pine Ridge:  "Learning and Serving Close to Home"
  • Issues: The Pine Ridge Reservation is the poorest reservation in the U.S. Unemployment is over 80% and most households have limited running water,electricity, and telephone. Living conditions are extreme and life expectancy is the shortest of any reservation in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Location:  Pine Ridge, South Dakota
  • Projects include assisting organizations to help increase the standard of living through the Re-Member Organization and working with at-risk youth and members of the community.
AWOL Portland – "Portland:  For the Health of It!"
  • Issues: A study in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine reads, "people living in extreme poverty tend to have more chronic illnesses, more frequent and severe disease complications and make greater demands on the health care system." This trip examines current health-related issues and focuses on a means to encourage healthier lifestyles to prevent unnecessary demands on the healthcare systems.
  • Location: Portland, Oregon
  • Projects include examining drug and alcohol dependencies in adolescent and adult populations; exploring dietary and hygiene issues of low-income families; working with organizations that instruct healthy, abuse-free family relationships; investigating healthcare accessibility for the uninsured; and attempting to appreciate such issues through our choices during the week (e.g. eating meals at poverty level).


Alternative Breaks

holding-shovels AWOL sponsors service-learning trips during the University's winter and spring breaks. Students work on projects such as poverty, homelessness, immigration and HIV/AIDS.