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Our Mission & Principles

A group of students on a weekend trip taking their lunch break near a lake in Missouri.

A group of students on a weekend trip taking their lunch break near a lake in Missouri.

Our Mission

Mizzou Alternative Breaks provides students the unique opportunity to gain a wider perspective of the world while immersed in a week of service to people and communities. As a program, it is our goal to influence outstanding Mizzou students who will soon be the leaders and supporters of our future as a global community. Through service, leadership, and the development of lasting relationships, MAB aims to provide students with an experience that offers them the seeds to grow into active and united citizens. By igniting a passion for service in our generation, MAB promotes the idea that grassroots service is something larger than a week or an event — it is a movement that starts with caring about the people around you and the community that brings you together.

Our Principles

Mizzou Alternative Breaks uses it’s principles in everything we do. These guiding principles help us go into a community and do as much good as possible. Service done poorly can be very detrimental to a community. These seven ideals help our participants and site leaders have the best experience possible while they are on their trip, while making sure we’re giving back.

Serve, Don’t Help

Mizzou Alternative Break trips are service trips. There is a subtle, but crucial difference between helping someone and serving someone. We don’t go on these trips to help poor, sick and helpless people. We go to humbly serve them. We share our gifts with them and they share their gifts with us. It’s a two way street on an equal plane, an exchange between two groups of people that brings positive change to everyone.

Communicate Love

With everyone you come into contact with, be sure to communicate love first. Regardless of language, values or cultural differences, it’s easy to share love and use that to communicate on common ground. A smile can accomplish more than we know.

This Is It

Throughout the week, live fully in every moment. Appreciate the people around you and the unique immersive experience you’re having. Realize that this isn’t some “other world” outside of Mizzou, but the same world with the same amazing people. When you’re on your trip or living back on campus, know that this is it.


This week is a rare opportunity to step outside of the lives we’re used to living on campus. Make the most of it by unplugging from attachment to technology, the internet and the habits we get into. Leave the phones in your bag when you volunteer all day. Enjoy a more simple life, free of distractions and full of concrete experiences.

Be Gumby

Flexibility goes a long way to making a trip work. Be open and respect what is asked of you and your trip. Embrace whatever comes and creatively bend to fit into it. Don’t be afraid to change your priorities, your perspective or your values based on your experience.

Poco A Poco

This Spanish phrase means “little by little.” We aren’t going to change the whole world in one week, but we do have an opportunity to make a noticeable difference in a community during that time. Realize that future trips can build on what you’re doing, and that your work is the product of past volunteers. Change comes slowly, but the positive impact you make in one week is what matters.

Bring It Home

We go out on all these trips for a reason. There is a lot to learn in the world and if our students can see it first hand, Mizzou becomes a better place. After our week away, take what we’ve learned and bring it home to campus. Channel your newfound passions by volunteering here, by creating a new organization or by sharing your stories with your peers.