Service creates space for individuals to exist in community with others, to learn about and respond to dynamic needs, to think creatively and dig deep.  While there are many ways to engage in service, at the Pace Center for Civic Engagement we believe a critical component to doing service well is being well planned and well prepared.  

At the Pace Center we believe that being of service means we are perpetual learners, committing time to understand the issues that matter most to us, working to ensure we are well prepared for the role we will play in communities, and creating space to process the impact our experience has on those we serve and ourselves.  As we work to connect students to experiential opportunities to sustain meaningful and lasting change, we feel it is important to ensure they have the knowledge and skills that support meaningful work and positive impact.  

Our approach to learning is multifaceted. Our suite of interactive workshops prepare students for particular roles in service through an exploration of their values, best practices in entering and working with communities, and learning how to process service experiences.  For students who are interested in a deeper exploration of a particular topic or issue, small learning cohorts rooted in our learning curriculum provide students with an opportunity to work closely with a staff advisor to engage regularly.  

Service can take on many forms, but one thing that is constant is that it provides a beautiful opportunity for you to learn about yourself and others while having a positive impact on communities.    

Volunteer 101

The Pace Center believes strongly that preparing to do service well and learn through service is key to student’s growth as individuals and the benefit of communities. As a part of that preparation, the Pace Center offers it’s Volunteer 101 workshop.

Designed for those who are beginning a new service opportunity, this training will equip participants with the knowledge and skills they need to have a powerful and impactful service experience. Through conversation and interactive activities, workshop participants will explore what motivates them to serve and how to do service well.

Topics included in this module are: identifying values and motivations, designing an impactful experience, effective communication, challenging assumptions and navigating ethical concerns that can arise during the service experience. Participants will leave the training feeling not only prepared to served, but empowered to serve well.

Spring Leader Intensive

The Pace Center for Civic Engagement's Spring Leader Intensive prepares student leaders to serve successfully and support other students in their service work.  The core of the Spring Leader Intensive is composed of unique learning tracks that prepare student leaders for the myriad of service opportunities they participate in. Designed to support the work of student leaders from across the Pace Center for Civic Engagement, the information in these sessions will be valuable for any organization with a civic engagement focus or individuals who hope to serve as leaders in service.  Student leaders from the Breakout Princeton, Community Action, Community House, Pace Council for Civic Values, Service Focus and Student Volunteers Council programs as well as Pace Center Student Organizations are strongly encouraged to attend.

Workshops are led by Pace Center staff, community partners, and peer facilitators. The Spring Leader Intensive features a core set trainings as well as a rotating set of workshops that is constantly adapting to the needs of student leaders. Please see below for a list of core workshop trainings featured:

  • Cultural Humility

  • Effective Communication

  • Navigating Group Dynamics

  • Project Vision and Alignment

  • Entering Community

  • Recruiting, Retaining, and Motivating Your Volunteers

Board Retreat

The Pace Center All Board Retreat is designed to facilitate leadership development for Pace Center student board members through knowledge sharing of expectations and best practices, exploring group dynamics and reviewing the Pace Center strategic plan. The All Board Retreat also fosters a space for collaboration amongst Pace Center boards.

As a result of attending the All Board Retreat, student board members will be able to:

  • Identify their leadership style and give examples of the best practices of effective leadership.

  • Define themselves and their respective boards as part of a larger Pace Center leadership team.

  • Recognize their role as board members and utilize Pace Center policies, procedures and best practices.

  • Design working budgets that reflect a deep understanding of financial stewardship

  • Compose goals and objectives for their work that align with the goals and strategies of the Pace Center strategic plan.