"I am thankful for the CSO because it introduced me to the Northampton community and has supported me in forming meaningful relationships with community members. Whether I am on or off campus, my experience as a student volunteer has strengthened my Smith career in a very special way."
- Beverly, '18
Long-term community placements are a great way to give back to the local community, learn about local issues and needs, and gain valuable skills. The CSO coordinates regular weekly placements ranging from one to eight hours per week with a 1 to 3 semester commitment.
- Volunteer at local shelters, community development or social action programs
- Be a companion to children, teenagers, young parents, or the disabled
- Tutor children, middle school and high school students or refugees
- Serve as a "decisional trainer" to inmates
- Assist as a hotline advocate at a local shelter for battered women
- Teach ESL to adult immigrants in a language program
- Work with urban farm programs
Community Fellows Program
The Community Fellows Program is for students who are interested in deepening their commitment to a particular long-term community partnership by acting as a leader and liaison between the Smith community and the agency. Community fellows focus on recruiting and supporting volunteers, being a primary contact person for that specific partnership, and organizing reflection and training for Smith volunteers.
CSO has Fellows with the following key community partners: Connections After School Program, Girls Inc. of Holyoke, Homework House, Kensington International School, Safe Passage, and Treehouse Foundation.
"I think overall my experience at Connections really showed me what it means to work with youth, but also help them realize their potential. And while I did that I also realized my capabilities and how working with the students also allowed both of us to grow. Witnessing that together was amazing! I was with them for three years straight and it is never easy to say 'goodbye.' They have all grown tremendously since I met them when they were in sixth grade." - Tziona, '16
"At Treehouse, we tutor foster and adopted children once a week for a few hours. It is such an enriching and heartwarming experience that I look forward to every week. While tutoring these children, I also learn about my own strengths and weaknesses and determine how I can alter and strengthen my skills to be better at helping them learn. We also all eat together and discuss how our day went before we begin tutoring which touches upon the family aspect that makes Treehouse so special." - Selina, '19