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Alternative Break Opportunities

What are YOU doing for Spring Break?

ALTERNATIVE BREAK 2014 is going to Costa Rica!

This year we will be taking ten students to Tres Rios, Costa Rica to volunteer with the commuity! 

To donate to our cause, click here!

Make a donation here! 

What is Alternative Break?

Meet the 2014 Alternative Break Team!

The goal of the Alternative Break Program is to give students a chance to have a positive impact on another community through hands-on-service projects. You can help be a part of the solution!

Every year the LIVE Program takes a group of students on a different type of service-learning trip. Check out the side bar to look at our past trips!

Meet the 2014 Alternative Break Team!

Cara Hollingsworth

Cara is originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming. She graduated from University of Wyoming with a M.S. in Counseling in 2007. She has worked in Student Services for the past 12 years and absolutely loves working with college students!Cara moved to Fairbanks in 2008 to join the LIVE Program. She moved to Alaska with her husband and 2 labs Zane and Riley. If she isn't in the office you can probably find Cara hiding in a corner reading or out running, hiking or traveling.  

Team Lead: Lauren Ramirez

Lauren Ramirez (pictured on the right with her best friend on the left) is just a small town girl, livin' in an arctic world. Born and raised in Lexington, North Carolina, Lauren only recently moved to UAF in the summer of 2013 to join her darling husband who is stationed at Fort Wainwright. She loves to volunteer and since 2007 has surmounted over 3,000 volunteer hours; a feat which she believes contributed to her being hired at the fabulous LIVE office as their volunteer program assistant. Lauren is graduating in May from UAF with her B.A. in History and a minor in Sociology, and plans to continue working for non-profits either professionally or just for fun. She is an alumna of Alpha Chi Omega, she speaks two languages fluently, and believes cheese and Italian are vying for the third fluent language she'll speak. 

Sarah Walker

My name is Sarah Walker and I'm a senior double-majoring in Alaska Native studies and rural development, with a Yup'ik minor.  I was raised between Fairbanks and Washington state.  I wanted to be a part of this year's AB trip because I enjoy volunteering on things that impact communities.  One interesting thing about me is that I stay active with numerous student organizations on campus (Associated Students of UAF, Festival of Native Arts, Native Alaskan Business Leaders, Natives for Postive name a few).  Also, I've been a Seahawks fan since I was all started when my dad got season tickets.

Denali Critchett

Denali considers herself an avid helper and volunteer. She is pursuing a bachelor’s in Petroleum Engineering that she will be completing in May, but she always has found time for volunteering.   After volunteering in her home community she was very happy to find similar opportunities as she attended UAF.   These opportunities have been not only helped others and her new community, but been self defining.   In 2010, she traveled with the Alternative Break team to Destin, Florida for a Gulf Coast Restoration Project.   She loved this project, full of the manual labor of bagging oysters, and thoroughly enjoyed the time outside (but not so much the plethora of sunscreen required).   Denali is an individual that loves that outdoors and everything to do with it (like skiing, hiking and biking). She looks forward to dedicating her time over spring break to help out a local community in Costa Rica and learning about their culture.   Learning new things is what pushes and motivates Denali, and she cannot wait to learn more about the area, people, and even her own teammates.   

Lakeidra Chavis

Salut! My name is Lakeidra Chavis and I am currently a junior studying Psychology, with minors in French and Journalism. I am the Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, The Sun Star. I’m from a small southern town in Arkansas and I’ve lived in AK for three years. Between AR and AK, I’ve lived in more than 8 places and have attended more than 8 schools—from Texas to Germany. I’m excited to be a part of the AB team this year! Volunteering is fun, crazy and amazing! It’s nice to get perspective—that’s not something you can learn in a one hour class three days a week. In my spare time I like to snowboard, read, cook, write and watch movies 

Mamie Davis

¡Hola amigos! My name is Mamie Davis and I hail from the city where Christmas lives year round: North Pole, AK! I applied to go on Alternative Break to Talamanca, Costa Rica because I am a Spanish major at UAF. I therefore jumped at the opportunity to both use my language skills as well as help out and contribute in a Central American community! Thank you for considering to donate to our cause. ¡Pura vida ticos!

Marie Skanis

My name is Marie Skanis. I’m from Sitka, Alaska and am currently PhD student in a clinical-community psychology program with a rural and indigenous emphasis. When I’m not working on schoolwork, I enjoy a good game of tug-of-war with my dog Ace, curling up with a good book, cooking, baking, and geeking out to some economics podcasts. However, time outside of my program work is precious and limited – which is why I chose to apply to volunteer this year with the Alternative Spring Break in Costa Rica. The ASB program offered an opportunity to do the type of community work my program is training me for as part of a great team of people that I’m excited to be a part of!


Moriah Hunstiger

My name is Moriah Hunstiger. I am Junior here at UAF and am currently a double major in biological sciences and chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry. My schooling is very important to me and my hard work and attentiveness have paid off with a 3.92 cumulative GPA. Since my sophomore year I   have worked for Residence Life as a Resident Assistant in Bartlett Hall. This semester I attended the ACS Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting in Colorado to present a poster and I hope to travel to more conventions throughout my college career. In my free time I enjoy hiking, skiing, rock climbing, reading, and volunteering. Volunteer activities I have been involved in include doing laundry at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Alaska Regional Hospital, picking up trash, working at shot clinics, and volunteering at the local soup kitchen. However, my all-time favorite volunteer experience was when I went to South Africa for a month to volunteer at the De Wildt Shingwedzi Cheetah and Wildlife Ranch. While there my duties included building roads, repairing fences, feeding the animals, and digging up invasive plant species. This is only a brief description of my trip but it has deeply impacted my life and I hope to have many more such experiences.

Kristine De Leon

Kristine de Leon is a service learner advocate in every sense of the word. She has an extensive background in the practice of service lear ning within her discipline of Anthropology. Participant observation, the primary method of investigation in cultural anthropology, allows her to integrate her studies with community service to produce quality research work in the sub-field of Human Ecology. Along with her interest for her discipline, Kristine thrives on Latin American cultures. She was fortunate enough to study the Spanish language abroad in Cusco, Peru in the summer of 2012. Now with the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica, she is thrilled to be a part of a meaningful experience that combines two of her passions.

Brandy Flores

Brandy is a senior in her third year at UAF. She is pursuing a double degree; a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages (Spanish and German) and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management. She is also the president of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance on Campus (GSA) and is an Orientation Leader. Brandy also loves to travel because of the opportunity to learn about cultures different than her own and hopes you will help the 2014 Alternative Spring Break Team help others! "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not." - The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

Shirlie Morin

My name is Shirlie Morin (pictured center), I was born in Seattle, Washington and moved to Kodiak, Alaska when I was three years old. I am a graduate from Kodiak High School, class of 2012. I am currently a sophomore attending the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and will be graduating in 2016 with my BA in Social Work. I have been actively involved in Girl Scouts of Alaska since I was five years old and in 2010 became a Lifetime Member of Girl Scouts USA. I am also a member of Lions Club International. I am very excited for the adventure we will be taking to Talamanca, Costa Rica to work with Outward Bound.