How will you serve?
How does Norwich serve?
Our Center for Civic Engagement thinks locally and globally, coordinating 10 service-oriented student groups to put volunteers in communities that need them.
In this video, Center for Civic Engagement Director Nicole DiDomenico, Assistant Director Abigail Joyal (a 2018 Norwich alumna) and soon-to-graduate senior Brandon Milburn discuss the center and volunteerism.
DiDomenico listed Unify, a program working with Special Olympics athletes, Buddy Up, a youth mentoring program, Rotaract, a collegiate version of the global humanitarian organization Rotary International and NUEMS, a group training prospective emergency medical technicians or responders, as volunteer opportunities.
Alternative Thanksgiving Break and Alternative Spring Break programs let students volunteer when during university recesses; Joyal said past Alternative Spring Break groups have visited Puerto Rico, to aid after Hurricane Maria, and Texas, to build homes for Habitat for Humanity.
Students can also apply to be Civic Scholars, who can earn up to $12,000 in scholarship money ($3,000 for each year involved) by devoting 500 hours to volunteer service over their four years. The first year has the biggest time commitment, 200 hours, DiDomenico said, and exposes students to a wide range of causes and projects. As years progress, she said, students become leaders, developing a signature Norwich skill, then mentors, guiding leaders.
Milburn, a Norwich’s men’s lacrosse goalie and Corps of Cadets member, said if students don’t find volunteer groups that suit them, they can create ones that do, as he did for athletics. He said he particularly enjoyed participating in a 2019 Norwich’s Day of Service.
“It was just really cool to see this well-run day where … upward of 10 places benefited. From the Norwich student network, embarking on helping them out through all the volunteer opportunities that we have.”