• Catalyst Trip

    Student Application

    Catalyst uses direct service to investigate questions of justice and community. Catalyst is designed to provide students with an opportunity to learn about social justice, reflect about our roles in the community, and contribute via service over spring break. The trips are open to all currently enrolled Hamline University students who are not on any form of probation. 

    Apply to be a part of Catalyst! 

    Applications for 2015-2016 are due Monday, November 2nd. 


    Each group will have 10-13 people. The experience is led by two student leaders and a staff resource person. Participants commit to a six-month journey, with group activities and service before, during, and after the spring break trip. Through this, groups will learn about how the issue they're focusing on relates to the local community, as well as communities around the nation. During the trip, each day will consist of direct service in the community, followed by reflection. Many trips also speak with elected officials, community activists, and take part in cultural activities.


    We try to make the trip affordable for students. Hamline contributes to the funding, we fundraise all year together, and there is a small student fee. The student fee all driving Catalyst trips $200 (Chicago and Milwaukee). The flying trips cost $400 (Detroit, New Orleans, San Francisco, DC). Student fees are due by February 1st, 2016. This covers all transportation, all lodging, all meals except on the travel days (first and last days), and all educational experiences.


    If you are in need of a scholarship for part of your student fee please contact Margot Howard mhoward03@hamline.edu. A very limited amount of scholarships are available, please only inquire if you would otherwise not be able to attend the trip. We are not able to offer full scholarships. Scholarship requests are due AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION.


    Due to the high cost of arraigning each trip, if you cancel after Jan 1, you will be charged the cost of the plane ticket or student fee (whichever is higher). If you cancel before Jan. 1 you will not be responsible for any cost of the trip.


    Catalyst Trips are designed to be high-impact experiences. Each day will be packed full with service and experiential learning. The trips may put people outside of their comfort zones to encourage learning and growth through new and unique experiences. Many trips will stay in hostels and use public transportation. All participants will be able to sleep in a private bed, but not a private room. Days may include up to five miles of walking. Some sites may do service that includes, but are not limited to heavy lifting, repetitive movement, standing for long periods of time, working directly with community members, working in messy or dirty situations, etc.. Each trip does different types of service and one should be ready to work on anything. The staff resource person will be present and available for safety concerns throughout the trip. Catalyst Programs will do it's best to accommodate students needs, but it may not always be possible. Please email mhoward03@hamline.edu with any accommodation request as soon as they are known.


    • Attend group meetings and participate in various group activities and service projects throughout the year. 
    • Assist with fundraising efforts. 
    • Attend an orientation on February 1st, 2016.
    • Be available for all of spring break: March 19th-26th 2016.
    • Contribute to a group presentation at the Bring it Back Dinner in April.


    • Who am I in the context of community?
    • How do I take personal and collective action for justice?
    • How does my privilege show up in different spaces/communities?
    • How do I challenge stereotypes and assumptions?
    • How can I open myself to urgent injustice and stay compassionate?
    • How are different social justice issues interrelated?