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What are Alternative Break Experiences (ABE) at ECU?

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East Carolina University Alternative Break Experiences (ABE) create active citizens, leaders, and advocates for lasting social change.

Mission statement - Mission statements are similar to vision statements, in that they, too, look at the big picture. However, they're more concrete, and they are definitely more "action-oriented" than vision statements. Your vision statement should inspire people to dream; your mission statement should inspire them to action. Some general guiding principles about mission statements are that they are:

  • Concise.  While not as short as vision statements, mission statements generally still get their point across in one sentence.
  • Outcome-oriented.  Mission statements explain the fundamental outcomes your organization is working to achieve.
  • Inclusive.   While mission statements do make statements about your group's key goals, it's very important that they do so very broadly. Good mission statements are not limiting in the strategies or sectors of the community that may become involved in the project.

Vision Statement - Your vision is your dream. It's what your organization believes are the ideal conditions for your community; that is, how things would look if the issue important to you were completely, perfectly addressed. There are certain characteristics that most vision statements have in common. In general, vision statements should be:

  • Understood and shared by members of the community
  • Broad enough to include a diverse variety of local perspectives
  • Inspiring and uplifting to everyone involved in your effort
  • Easy to communicate - for example, they are generally short enough to fit on a T-shirt

East Carolina University Alternative Break Experiences (ABE) are learning opportunities that immerse ECU community members in diverse environments that address social, economic, political, environmental, spiritual, and cultural issues through the exchange of idea,  personal reflection, critical thinking, and applications of academic concepts beyond the classroom.  Alternative Break Experiences (ABE) challenge all participants to critically reflect upon their role and ability to make lasting social change in our local, regional, and global community.