How to get involved in community service

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Each year, thousands of University students engage with our local community through service learning courses, volunteering, or participating in community research. In doing so, students help meet the needs of our community and gain valuable experiences that will help them not only throughout their academic careers, but throughout their lives.

How Community Service Can Help You Achieve Your Academic / Career Goals

There are many benefits for students who participate in community service, including:

  • Improve their academic knowledge with real world applications
  • Improve professional skills, such as problem solving, communication, critical thinking, thinking and teamwork
  • Being exposed to cultures different from your own
  • Critical reflection on personal values ​​and beliefs
  • Improve understanding of the strengths and needs of communities
  • Application of course content to a real environment
  • Meet other people who enjoy serving the community to build personal networks
  • Gain practical experience in a community setting

Social benefits of community service

Each year, the university provides more than 80,000 hours of service to more than 200 community partners through volunteerism, service learning and community research opportunities. This provides a valuable resource for our community partners to be able to achieve their goals. Supporting students not only helps them gain valuable experience, but also helps our local schools and non-profit organizations achieve their goals.

How to find the right community service opportunity

# 1. Service learning course

Service-learning courses are designed for students to fully engage in service activities that establish and maintain meaningful community partnerships, relate course objectives to meeting a need within their community, and discover the real applications of their courses. Students can enroll in a service learning course as part of their study programs by searching for service learning courses in MyNevada.

# 2. Bonner Leader Program

As the University of Nevada, the Reno branch of the Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, the Bonner Leaders program gives select students the opportunity to participate in service learning on our campus and in our larger community. In partnership with community organizations, these students work to improve the lives of people from disenfranchised communities. At the same time, they receive a service-oriented education that emphasizes the issues facing minority populations and the roles of diversity and equity in service spaces.

# 3. Volunteering

Volunteer opportunities are offered by the Center for Student Engagement. The Center seeks to remove barriers to student civic engagement by offering community partnerships, resources and guidance to support and encourage student civic engagement efforts in a number of ways. Whether you are an individual student looking for ways to get involved, or a student organization looking to advance your mission, the Center for Student Engagement can help.

Students can find and register for a wide variety of volunteer opportunities with our many partner organizations on campus and in the community on UNR GivePulse. By registering for an event, it lets the organizer know you are coming and you will receive a reminder. Finally, after you have volunteered, you can save your hours and any remaining reflection on your volunteer profile. Collect lots of experiences and you can share your community involvement with others.

# 4. Community research

Community Based Research is an opportunity for students to serve as research consultants with a local organization seeking to improve the lives and work of residents of northern Nevada. The Undergraduate Research Office offers a program that provides undergraduate students the opportunity to do community-based research. Students will work with a local agency and faculty mentor on an active research project that addresses a need identified by the community.

No matter how you wish to serve the community, the University has many ways to support you. From one-off volunteering to the course of a semester, there are always opportunities available. The Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement and the Center for Student Engagement are available to work with students, faculty, and community members to create mutually beneficial opportunities between the University and our community.


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