Break Description


Join us on our Alternative Break to work with St. Bernard Project (SBP) and in New Orleans, LA during our 14th May Break! This long-standing JMU tradition started in November 2005, only months after Hurricane Katrina impacted the Gulf Coast and devastated New Orleans. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina left 80% of New Orleans under water, leaving 100% of the St. Bernard Parish deemed uninhabitable. This inspired the creation of SBP, an organization that is committed to shrinking the time between disaster and recovery across the nation. Although their roots are in New Orleans, their recovery efforts have expanded to respond in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, New Jersey, and more. One of their most prominent programs in New Orleans is their “Owner-Occupied Rebuilding Program,” in which SBP rebuilds homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina for families who cannot afford to rebuild. Through this program, they have successfully rebuilt over 700 homes and connected thousands of people back to the City of New Orleans. Along with St. Bernard Parish, the Lower Ninth Ward is another community that was significantly impacted, due to their close proximity with the Industrial Canal levee breach. As a result, recognized the need and focused their efforts on rebuilding this historic neighborhood. Interestingly, rebuilding in the Lower Ninth Ward has lagged well behind that of other areas of New Orleans as a result of poverty, the degree of devastation, inaction from the government, and other unique challenges and injustices. As a result of their hard work and commitment, has rebuilt nearly 100 homes in the area and is now working on mapping the current needs of the community. Through the week, this unique team of 50 JMU faculty and students will be working with community-based organizations that are committed to rebuilding the City of New Orleans on a daily basis; individuals who have seen the innate hope, resilience, and triumph that radiates throughout this community. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to have a life-changing experience and learn about one of the greatest manmade disasters in U.S. history. Want more information? Click here!

Note: All graduating seniors are eligible to join!

Focus on: Sustaining Housing

Community: New Orleans, Louisiana

Leaders: Kayla Bradley, Katherine Chiu, Lauren Crebbs, Haylee Henson, Carly Howard, Hannah Lesniak, Leslie Morris, Mone Parker, Cal Reeves, Jasmine Robinson, Caitlin Schlosberg

Cost: $315

What type of travel will this break use? Domestic Driving

What kind of break is this? May Break

Departure Date: 05-09-2020

Return Date: 05-16-2020

What community partner will you be working with? SBP and

Currently Offered?: Yes

Back to Top