Texas Tech University

Past Service Breaks

Spring 2018 Weekend SB: Caprock Canyon State Park

Focus: Trail Maintenance

Six TTU students and two staff members participated in CALUE's 1st Weekend Service Break at Caprock Canyon State Park. Located only 1.5 hours away students were able to step away from campus for a weekend give back to one of our state's great parks. Participants worked with the trail maintenance program, specifically getting ready for the parks Wild Canyon Ultra race which will help raise money for the Caprock Canyons Restoration Project.

  • The goal of this project is to restore the park to its natural state from some 300 years ago. It includes restoration of mixed grass prairies, rolling plains and native animals, including the beloved prairie dogs and bison seen throughout the Caprock Canyons!

Along with trail maintenance the group also had a great tour, led by Le'Ann who is the Interpreter for the park. On this tour participants learned about the history, ecosystem, and animals of the park. One of the highlights was learning that Caprock Canyon State Park is home to the official Texas State Bison herd, that can be seen roaming throughout the park. 

"Knowing the rich history of the trail-ways and the park made our time in the park a richer experience. Whether we were clearing brush, picking up trash, or pulling weeds around the visitor's center, we knew the value of what we were contributing to – the sustainability of the park to host roughly 72,000 visitors per year. Visiting a state park allows you to better understand the area in which you live, particularly how a region's past helps shape the world in which we live today. Caprock Canyon State Park is definitely a Texas treasure worth checking out! And they always need volunteers," Willow (SB Participant)! 

To read more and see pictures from our Weekend SB, visit the blog.

Spring Break 2018 SB: Grand Canyon National Park

Focus: Commercial Services

Twelve TTU students and one staff member spent CALUE's 2nd Spring Break in the Grand Canyon National Park. Partnering with commercial services CALUE SB participants learned about the importance of parking and contracts in the park and got a close look at all the behind the scenes that goes into running a park. Led by Ranger Perri, throughout the week, participants learned ALL things Grand Canyon, from concessions contracts, asset management, volunteer services, parking and bus systems, forestry, the formation & rocks of the Canyon, and visited the park's private archives with historical artifacts from millions of years ago. Each day participants divided up and roved parking lots and helped direct visitors around the park. During their free time TTU students were able to enjoy the glorious view of the canyon and hike!

"When I look out in the canyon I see a beautiful sky that seems closer than ever, trails that are never ending, and pure serenity. Giving my service to the Grand Canyon has been an honor," Gabby (SB participant).

To read more and see pictures from our Winter SB, visit the blog.

Winter 2017 CALUE SB: New Orleans

Focus: Affordable Housing, Education, Environmental, Bead Recycling Project, & Neighborhood Revitalization

Nine TTU students and one staff member spent a week of their Winter break serving & learning in the New Orleans' community. Each day the group focused on a different issue that the NOLA community faces. TTU participants worked with five different non-profits:

  • APEX (Always Pursuing Excellence Youth Center)
  • ReNew SciTech Academy
  • ARC of Greater New Orleans
  • YRNO (Youth Rebuilding New Orleans)
  • Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge

and completed over 150 hours of service. Along with the service work students participated in activities daily to learn about the culture and history of NOLA. One of the highlights and most impactful moment of the SB was touring the Whitney Plantation, which is the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery. 

"This trip gets better by the day and I really do feel that we are making an impact," Aaron Perkins (SB participant). 

To read more and see pictures from our Winter SB, visit the blog.

Summer Break 2017 CALUE SB: Costa Rica

Sea Turtle Conservation

Five TTU students and two staff members participated in the first CALUE International Service Break. The group spent two days in San Jose for orientation and then traveled to Junquillal for eight days working with Verdiazul's Sea Turtle Conservation Project! Night patrols, reforestation, and working in the hatchery were the main tasks. CALUE SBers also got to experience releasing newly hatched Olive Ridley Sea Turtles into the ocean. This allowed participants to really see first hand the importance of the work they were doing! Over 80 hours of service work was completed and the group was able to learn and experience the Costa Rica culture.

This CALUE SB group also got to be a part of introducing Costa Rica high school students to the Red Raider tradition! A TTU Costa Rica campus is set to open in San Jose 2018 and the SBers did a great job representing Texas Tech!

To read more and see pictures from our Summer SB, visit the blog.

Spring Break 2017 CALUE SB: Grand Canyon

Commercial Services

Nine TTU students and one staff member spent Spring Break in the Grand Canyon National Park. Partnering with commercial services CALUE SB participants learned about the importance of parking and contracts in the park and got a close look at all the behind the scenes that goes into running a park. Participants had learning sessions each morning where they learned about different aspects of the park, from concessions contracts, asset management, volunteer services, parking and bus systems. In the afternoons SBer's roved parking lots and helped direct visitors to open spots. During their free time TTU students were able to enjoy the glorious view of the canyon and hike!

To read more and see pictures from our Spring SB, visit the blog.

Winter CALUE Service Break: Laredo, TX

Habitat for Humanity

Six TTU students and one staff member spent one week over the Christmas break in Laredo, TX. Partnering with Habitat for Humanity, CALUE Service Breakers were able to help begin construction on a house for the Aguilar family, as well as fully erect a shed from bottom to top. Learning about substandard housing, the Laredo community, and the importance of a border city, participants were able to gain a better understanding of the need for affordable housing and how it can effect communities.

To read more and see pictures from our Winter SB, visit the blog.

2016 Spring Service Breaks: Waco, TX and Corpus Christi, TX

Texas SeaLife Center

Six students and one staff member traveled to Corpus Christi, TX where they partnered with the Texas SeaLife Center. Participants spent their Spring Break 2016 learning about marine conservation and doing various service projects for the Center. Building fences, cleaning debris around the Center and on beaches, and mending cages were a few of the tasks.

World Hunger Relief Farm

Four students and one staff member traveled to Waco, TX where they worked with World Hunger Relief Farm and participated in their Life on the Other Side program (LOTOS). This experience put the participant's gardening skills and handling of farm animals to the test. Participants were woken every morning very early and given daily farm chores: feeding the farm animals, collecting eggs, and tending to multiple gardens were just a few of the chores. Also each day they learned about world hunger, nutrition, soil conservation and sustainable farming practices. World Hunger Relief also provided programing where the students in order to eat had to do chores and experienced what it was like to eat on an extremely low budget.

To read more and see pictures from our Spring 2016 SBs, visit the blog.

2015 Winter Service Break: New Orleans, LA

Project Homecoming

Seven students and two staff members traveled to New Orleans where they worked with Project Homecoming to help rebuild homes for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Participants worked on Ms. Connie's home. She was one of many who were victims of contract fraud after the hurricane. It has taken her ten years to be able to have her home back. The group perfected their carpentry skills of painting, wall and door trimming, and grouting tile in the house. SB participants were also able to help future Project Homecoming volunteers by building new bunk beds for their facilities. Chores were given out each morning and evening including: cooking breakfast, making lunches, and cooking dinner. The last night participants worked together to cook a traditional jambalaya meal for the PH staff, PH site leaders, and Ms. Connie. 

To read more and see pictures from our Winter 2015 SB, visit the blog

2015 Spring Service Breaks: El Paso, TX and Dallas, TX

During spring break, March 16-20, 2015, TTU students traveled to El Paso and Dallas with CALUE's Service Breaks program.

Students in El Paso partnered with the Annunciation House - Border Awareness Experience (BAE). The goal of BAE is to raise consciousness about border issues such as immigration, economic development, human rights and social justice. Participants spent time touring the border and visiting with border patrol agents, visiting a federal courtroom, and interacting with volunteers and migrants, hearing their stories and sharing meals.

In Dallas, participants worked with Crossroads Community Services, addressing concerns related to poverty and food insecurity. Our students assisted Crossroads clients with shopping in the organization's clothing closet, organized donations that were placed in the closet and worked with clients to complete food orders in the food pantry.

To view pictures from our Spring 2015 SBs, visit our Facebook page 

2014 Winter Service Break: San Antonio, TX

Building Better Tomorrows: Habitat for Humanity

Four staff members and eight students participated in the Service Break trip to San Antonio on December 10-14, 2014. The students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, represented a wide range of majors but shared a desire to give back. Working with Habitat for Humanity participants spent the first two days of service, rehabilitating existing Habitat homes to prepare them for new families. On the final day of service, participants contributed to the building of a new home for a family who were refugees from Burma. TTU participants were able to see their work transform the project from a concrete slab to a fully framed home.