Civic Engagement

Looking for a local volunteer opportunity? Whether you are seeking a one-time experience or an ongoing opportunity to volunteer with a local or national nonprofit organization, you will find a service experience that meets your needs.

Alternative Break Program

The mission of the Alternative Break program at Harford Community College is to provide direct service opportunities for students to experience diverse perspectives, learn about social issues, and grow as life-long active citizens. Students perform short-term projects for community agencies and learn about various social issues. Trips are subsidized by the Office of Student Life and scholarships are available. We encourage all students who are interested to apply. Stop by the Office of Student Life to get an application.

Please email Caitlin White at for more information on upcoming break opportunities.

Learning Objectives for Alternative Breaks:

  • Inspire active citizenship, social responsibility, and civic engagement through appropriately questioning social justice issues.

  • Examine the cultural, social, and economic impact of non-profit organizations on the communities they serve

  • Have an increased desire for involvement in volunteerism and service opportunities

  • Build relationships with others from different backgrounds and points of view

  • Gain, develop and enhance effective communication skills

  • Clearly articulate the impact their involvement had on their personal, social and academic growth

Upcoming Events:

  • At this time, the Office of Student Life does not have any upcoming events.  

Recent Events

Volunteer Fair at Harford Community College - Local organizations came to campus to raise public awareness of their missions. Students interested in volunteering their time and skills explored options available in Harford County.

SARC Walk a Mile In Her Shoes - SARC (The Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center) is Harford County's lifeline to victims, potential victims, and survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse and stalking. Working within the community, we are the catalyst for the eradication and prevention of violence. For this event, students and their families walked together with SARC's mission in mind and discussed Bystander Intervention methods.

SARC Holly's Hope 5k - A group of students assisted SARC for their annual 5k walk by setting up and monitoring the route of the 5k.

Welcome One Emergency Shelter - This shelter is the only full-service emergency homeless shelter in Harford County. Students were hands on & cooked/served dinner for the 33 residents.

Out of the Darkness: Suicide Awareness Walk - HCC students walked and volunteered to raise awareness about mental illness and to help lower the number of suicides in America.

One Love #LoveBetter - Students were able to donate self-care items and create care-packages to donate to families in need during our Valentine's Day event.

American Red Cross Blood Drives - Twice each semester, students are able to donate blood through our community blood drives held in the Student Center.

Green Week & Arbor Day - Students and community members came together at HCC to plant native trees and shrubs around campus, which can be seen behind the Student Center, Hayes-Heighe House, and the Tennis Courts. Students also participated in environmental action such as trail maintenance, recycling program, and some fun student-led activities.

Harford Family House - Harford Family House helps to shelter families with children experiencing homelessness. Students accompanied some faculty to spend a day assisting Harford Family House with their mission by preparing living spaces for families.

Give & Grab Winter Warm-Up - HCC had a campus-wide clothing drive and students, faculty and staff donated to the cause. Over several days, student volunteers from our Student Government Organization set up an Upcycle Shop where students who may need winter clothing were able to grab whatever they may need.

In past years...

January 2020 & 2019 Alternative Winter Break - Key West, FL

Eleven students participated in this program, which immersed participants in the past, present and future of Key West, Florida and allowed them to be an integral part of the environmental stewardship and community rebuilding in the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma. Participants volunteered doing marine debris cleanup and coral reef restoration work with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) and partners like Florida Fish and Wildlife, Mote Marine Laboratory, and Florida Boys Scouts. The students' work was even covered in a local Florida newspaper.

March 2019, 2018 & 2017 Alternative Spring Break - New Orleans, LA

Students will gain a better understanding of the challenges and successes of New Orleans as they volunteer their time and talents beautifying public spaces, rebuilding a Katrina home, and assisting at a local charter school. We are excited to see the impact our students make in the community and how the New Orleans community impacts them.

June 2019 Alternative Summer Break - Rome, Italy

Thirteen students participated in this international volunteer trip to Rome, Italy. While there, students volunteered with Kim Onlus, an organization that provides housing and assistance to families in need of specialized medical care.  Children come from all over the world to stay at this facility, which is run by a small, dedicated staff and local volunteers. Harford students assisted with projects around the facility, like creating a new outdoor walkway, and organized a special play day for the children. While in Italy, students were able to experience the local sights like the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, and even tour the Vatican museums.

For More Information:

Caitlin White
Student Leadership and Programming Specialist