Connecting with Students
The students of Princeton University are a vibrant, diverse group of young people preparing for positions of leadership and lives of service in many fields of endeavor.
Recruiting students as volunteers can be mutually beneficial for students and community organizations. Students contribute their time, energy, talents, and expertise, and in turn receive valuable experience and knowledge related to the civic issues these organizations address.
The Pace Center hopes to foster the collaboration between community organizations and students by acting as a bridge between them. These are some things to consider when looking for student volunteers:
Types of Volunteer Opportunities
Before you begin to look for student volunteers, consider what type of opportunity your organization can provide. Are you seeking volunteers for a one-time opportunity? Would you like consistent volunteers on a weekly or monthly basis? Can you provide an internship or a part-time job? Can you offer a workshop or training session about how to address a particular issue?
Preparing Student Volunteers
Think about how you can prepare student volunteers to work with your organization. If the volunteer work you offer requires specific knowledge or skills, consider offering an orientation session or training workshop for volunteers. Contact the Pace Center at email@example.com for advice and resources about how to conduct these sessions. Also, consider how much responsibility you will give the student volunteers. Make sure your expectations are clear from the beginning.
What Will They Learn?
Princeton University's mission is education. Both sides benefit when service opportunities give student volunteers the chance to learn something new or to apply their academic skills to solving real-world problems in addition to contributing their time and talent to a good cause. For example, Princeton's Community-Based Learning Initiative (CBLI) provides students with opportunities for combining community involvement with academic work. Each semester, CBLI supports courses that have a community-based component or offer an opportunity to do a community-based research paper. CBLI also helps with any planning and logistics necessary for community-based academic projects and independent work, and awards annual prizes for community-based independent work. Over the summer, CBLI offers several Derian Internships, which allow students to spend part of the summer researching for their thesis while working for a nonprofit.
While Princeton students may be eager to work with community organizations, most students have demanding schedules. Many are involved in sports or extracurricular activities in addition to their academic workload. If you want to work with students, it helps to become familiar with the University’s academic calendar.
Federal Work-Study Program
Students who are eligible for employment under the Federal Work-Study program can receive payment for community service while working with public or private nonprofit organizations, either during the academic year or in the summer. For more information about this program, contact the Student Employment Office.
Community House, which is part of the Pace Center, serves the Princeton community through established programs and occasional one-time service projects. For more information about the organization and for contact information, see the Community House section.
Student Volunteers Council (SVC)
The SVC is the largest student-run organization at Princeton University, sponsoring more than 40 weekly volunteer projects addressing issues such as education, homelessness and hunger, and health and well-being in the Princeton, Trenton and Greater Mercer County areas. For more information about the organization and for contact information, see the SVC section.
Keep in mind that not all students have access to cars or transportation. Consider how you can help students travel to and from your site.
Finding Students to Work with Your Organization
For assistance in connecting with Princeton students, contact the Pace Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.