Service & Outreach
Princeton offers all members of its community a wide range of opportunities for volunteerism, outreach, and work in public service. In addition to the programs listed below, individual graduate and undergraduate organizations, residential colleges, eating clubs, academic departments, and alumni classes promote service through various activities. Here is a sampling of some programs (listed in alphabetical order):
Breakout Princeton. The Pace Center’s student-led immersion program Breakout Princeton provides opportunities for students during fall and spring break to learn about and take action on important issues in communities around the United States.
Community and Regional Affairs, Office of. Members of the Community and Regional Affairs staff serve as liaisons between the University and the communities in which it resides on a wide variety of local and regional issues. The Community and Regional Affairs staff participate in the creation of special events such as Communiversity, Community and Staff Day, parades, workshops, symposia, and other programs enjoyed by tens of thousands of campus and community members each year. The office partners with other campus and community organizations to provide service opportunities and initiatives. The Surplus Equipment Program, which helps charitable nonprofit organizations acquire furniture and equipment no longer used by the University, is coordinated by Community and Regional Affairs.
Community-Based Learning Initiative (CBLI). A collaborative effort of students, faculty, administrators, and community experts, Community-Based Learning Initiative facilitates community-driven research projects.
International Internship Program. Offering numerous summer internships abroad arranged especially for Princeton undergraduates, the International Internship Program places students with international organizations, including private companies, volunteer programs, and many public interest and nongovernmental organizations.
Pace Center. The center is the University’s central resource for supporting efforts by undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni to identify and act on the problems of society. Through its wide range of programs—including Community House, Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS), the Student Volunteers Council, the Prison Teaching Initiative, Breakout Princeton, and Community Action—the Pace Center addresses issues of public concern through engaged scholarship, active citizenship, and effective public leadership. The Pace Center annually offers more than 1,600 opportunities for civic engagement.
Community House. Part of the Pace Center, Community House works directly with the Princeton Regional School District and other local nonprofit organizations to address educational achievement gaps. Princeton students volunteer throughout the school year to provide academic enrichment and educational, cultural, and social opportunities to low-income and minority children through such activities as tutoring, test preparation, and mentoring.
Princeton-Blairstown Center. This center, a not-for-profit support organization of the University, operates year-round experiential and adventure-based programs for underserved urban youth in New Jersey. With the help of student leaders, the 275-acre Princeton-Blairstown Center runs summer programs that emphasize the development of individual and group responsibility, self-esteem, self-confidence, and emotional well-being in a community environment. The center collaborates with the Pace Center, Community House, the Student Volunteers Council, and the Outdoor Action program during freshman pre-orientation and seeks Princeton students for summer staff.
Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS). Founded and supported by alumni and administered with the Pace Center, Princeton Internships in Civic Service places students mentored by Princeton alumni in summer internships in nonprofit organizations where they work in issue areas ranging from public policy, community development, and health and social services, to education, sustainability, and the arts. Established by the Class of 1969 Community Service Fund, PICS also involves other alumni classes and regional associations and alumni from other classes.
Princeton Project 55. Princeton Project 55 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for alumni to improve society. By bringing alumni together with students and recent graduates, Project 55 provides many opportunities for building the commitment, leadership, and mentoring needed to solve critical issues affecting the public interest. The organization’s Public Interest Program places recent graduates in yearlong fellowships at nonprofit and community organizations across the country.
Princeton University Class of 1969 Community Service Fund. The fund established and, in partnership with the Pace Center, administers the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program. The Princeton University Class of 1969 Community Service Fund also provides both financial and logistical support for service projects initiated by students and alumni, including Princeton in Africa, Princeton in Latin America, the Princeton student chapter of Engineers Without Borders, and the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program.
Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP). Funded by the University and founded by members of its faculty and staff, the Princeton University Preparatory Program is a three-year learning and enrichment program for Mercer County high school students who are educationally motivated and rich in intellectual curiosity but who are financially disadvantaged. PUPP is administered by the Program in Teacher Preparation.
Program in Teacher Preparation. In addition to training Princeton University students to be teachers, the Program in Teacher Preparation provides professional development programs for teachers in area schools. In addition, this program manages an academic-enrichment program that allows students who have completed their coursework and received permission from their respective high schools to take free courses in computer science, foreign languages, mathematics, and music.
Student Volunteers Council (SVC). The largest student-run organization at Princeton, Student Volunteers Council sponsors more than 40 weekly projects in partnership with community organizations. Student volunteers tutor children, restore houses, organize blood drives, feed the hungry, and visit the elderly. As part of the Pace Center, SVC organizes Community Action, a pre-orientation service immersion program.