The Community Service Center at Boston University is home to 14 student-run service programs, projects, and events. In 2013, the CSC had a base of over 4,600 volunteers and contributed over 100,000 hours of service to the Greater Boston Area and around the US. The First-Year Student Outreach Project is just one of the amazing programs run by the CSC.

Beyond your experience with FYSOP, we hope community service continues to be a key part of your Boston University experience and that you contribute to BU’s Million Hours ProjectThe Campaign for Boston University wants to cultivate BU’s giving spirit in multiple ways, including collecting service hours.  The goal is to reach a million hours of service from the Boston University student body by the end of the Campaign. You can record your service hours via this site to help the student body meet its goal:

If you are looking to continue to get involved in service related to animals, Alternative Spring Break, Branch Out, and the Global Day of Service are great ways to interact with animals in a volunteer setting.

ASB Volunteers

Alternative Spring Breaks (ASB) (

(Program Managers: Katie Collins and Matt Sullivan)

Alternative Spring Breaks (ASB) creates strong bonds among the students and faculty/staff who spend their spring breaks volunteering throughout the country. Each trip addresses one or more issue areas and is comprised of two coordinators, eight to fourteen volunteers, and a faculty/staff chaperone.

Trips to New Orleans and Chicago work with animals in shelters. In New Orleans, Volunteers will aid the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an organization created and dedicated to the rescue and aid of abandoned and homeless animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In Chicago, volunteers work alongside Chicago’s largest no-kill animal shelter, volunteers will be giving care and love to animals who are in the shelters waiting to be adopted

Time commitment: week of spring break


Branch Out (

(Program Manager: Laura Kakalecz)

Branch Out connects students with opportunities to learn about and be stewards of Boston’s urban ecosystem. Volunteers will engage in service for the people, plants, animals, and public spaces of Boston while building community on campus and in the city. No experience needed.

Last year they visited Maple Farm Sanctuary, a home to rescued farm animals, and the Department of Marine Fisheries.

Time commitment: one-time-events throughout the semester


One-Time Service Projects and Events (

(Program Manager: Lana Fernandez)

One Time Events are excellent for volunteers with rigid schedules who cannot commit to the CSC’s weekly programs. Events are scheduled on a one-time basis, focusing on areas in which the Community Service Center does not offer year-long programs. Examples of past events include: Trick-Or-Can (volunteers dress in costumes and collect cans in Brookline and Cambridge for the CSC’s fall can drive), Hike for Hunger (a 27-mile walk over 2 days through suburban Massachusetts to raise hunger awareness), and Global Day of Service.

Last Year Global Day of Service worked with sites used by FYSOP, including Ellen Gifford Cat Shelter and the City of Boston Animal Shelter.

Time commitment: varies by event

If you want to try something new, the CSC has programs that work with a variety of different issues, such as children, elders, and people living with disabilities. These programs include:


Afterschool (

(Program Managers: Meagan Bernatchez and Emily Southard)

Volunteers interact with the community by traveling to various schools and community centers in Greater Boston to offer tutoring, one-on-one homework assistance and creative activities for students grades preK-12. No previous experience with children required and training is provided before volunteering.

Time commitment: 2-4 hours per week (semester)


Children’s Theatre (CT) (

(Program Manager: Tré Pina)

Volunteers brainstorm, write, and produce their own original skits in a troupe of 10 students. After the shows are prepared and rehearsed, volunteers perform their creations for children in various hospitals, community centers, after school programs, and domestic abuse shelters throughout Boston. CT brings inspiration and entertainment to children who don’t generally have access to arts education.

Time commitment: 2 hours every Thursday evening 8:00-10pm and performances at the end of the semester (semester)

Empowerment League (

(Program Managers: Michelle Abou-Raad and Chloe Walker)

The Empowerment League works to address social justice, community building, and human rights issues in the greater Boston area. Through volunteers’ work, The Empowerment League achieves its goal of civic empowerment for all, breaking down barriers to self-confidence, education, shelter, and job training and enabling individuals to become more active and engaged citizens.

Time commitment: 2-4 hours per week (semester)


Joining Hands (

(Program Manager: Nick Pantages)

Joining Hands serves as a link between Boston University students and organizations that work with senior citizens and people living with disabilities in a variety of settings. The program allows volunteers to gain awareness about issues facing these unique populations as well as to form friendships with people of all ages and backgrounds. No previous experience required.

Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week (semester)


Making Music (

(Program Manager: Sally Klimp)

Making Music brings music education to Boston public schools. Volunteers offer instrumental, vocal, or dance lessons to elementary school students in grades three to five. The year ends with a recital where students and volunteers perform what they’ve learned for their family and friends. No previous teaching experience required, but volunteers must have a little background in an instrument, singing, or dancing.

Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week (academic year)


Project Hope (

(Program Manager: Du Vo)

Project Hope offers students an opportunity to become more involved in public health awareness, prevention and care. The program works with various organizations in the Greater Boston area that provide essential services to those at risk or HIV positive, including Cambridge Cares About AIDS, SPARK, AIDS Action Committee and Community Servings. No previous experience or medical training is required.

Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week (semester)


Siblings (Sibs) (

(Program Managers: Maddy Lee and Kerry Prime)

Siblings is a one-on-one mentoring program that matches BU students (Big Sibs) with children between the ages of 6 and 12 (Little Sibs). Siblings participate in larger, program-wide events including the annual Halloween Party and Siblympics. The program gives children the opportunity to spend time with college students, who serve as positive role models and friends.

Time commitment: 3-5 hours biweekly (academic year)


Student Food Rescue (SFR) (

(Program Managers: Krisandra Kneer or Nicole St. Louis)

Student Food Rescue is a food salvage program that picks up donated food from bakeries, restaurants, and grocery stores and drops it off at pantries and shelters around the Greater Boston Area. Through 27 weekly food runs, volunteers have the satisfaction of seeing the direct impact of their work as they rescue and donate food.

Time commitment: 1-2 hours per week (semester)


Student Studio (

(Program Manager: Deana Gordon)

Student Studio is an after-school program run by university students that brings art education to Boston public schools and community centers, especially to those who would not otherwise have access. Through fun and entertaining art lessons, we hope to encourage and promote the importance of art in today’s world.

Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week (semester)


Voices from the Middle (VFM) (

(Program Manager: Swanson Ninan)

Voices from the Middle (VFM) is a program that develops the leadership, self-esteem, and confidence levels of youth through the creative process. Volunteers mentor youth of all identities and help them to discuss important social issues as well as to prepare speeches, stories, plays, improv skits, songs or poems about these issues. VFM works with schools, community centers and social services organizations.

Time commitment: 2-4 hours per week (semester)


Wizards (

(Program Manager: Zoi Zaldivar)

Wizards was created with the goal of engaging students and getting them excited about science. Volunteers travel to various schools and community centers to perform hands-on science experiments with children from kindergarten through 8th grade. Experiments cover all types of science such as biology, physics and chemistry, while connecting the principles of science to the everyday world. Volunteers need not be science majors or have previous experience teaching.

Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week (semester)

Also, consider joining FYSOP as a staff member:

First-Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP) (

(Program Managers: Bridget Burgoyne and Amber Glass)

FYSOP offers incoming Boston University students a unique opportunity to get settled in their new community by performing a week of service before classes begin. Volunteers participate in a program orientation, a full day of education, and three full days of direct service in one of eleven issue areas. Rising sophomores-seniors may apply to be staff leaders for FYSOP 25 in March 2015.

Time Commitment: August 26-30th, 2014


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