About the Program

Grace Collins ‘21 sits next to Professor Heather Howard in a roundtable discussion about the role of local government

Service Focus is open to first-year students at Princeton University. It runs from the spring of the first year through the spring of sophomore year.

1. Support for Summer Service Internships

Princeton offers many opportunities for funded service internships across the country and around the world. Service Focus sponsors several dedicated internships in partnership with campus programs, provides advisement for first-year students on applying to and selecting an internship that aligns with their personal and academic goals, and offers opportunities to apply for supplementary funding. 

2. Connection with a Close-Knit Peer Group

Service Focus provides a space to connect with other students about the challenges and opportunities related to service from a range of different perspectives. Students reflect on their own service experiences and make connections to real world issues by engaging directly with community partners both on and off campus. They consider different pathways for change and have opportunities for funded support of impactful student-led projects. 

Students from the Health Care Cohort talk with faculty mentor Professor João Biehl

3. Mentorship from Renowned Faculty

Service Focus facilitates close conversations and professional relationships with faculty mentors who are also passionate about service. Professors share insights into their own commitments and demonstrate how they connect their work in communities to their own intellectual and scholarly pursuits. 

4. Engagement in Service-Related Coursework

Service Focus illuminates the wide range of service-related courses at Princeton, helping students build on their service commitments to shape their own unique academic trajectory with individualized advisement from ProCES staff. Students have the opportunity to integrate and expand on their coursework throughout their Service Focus experience by making important connections between the classroom, campus, and community. 

Timeline

FIRST YEAR: APPLY & PREPARE

Service Focus brings Princeton first-year students together to explore the meaning of service and its place in their lives. It connects students with funded service internship opportunities and introduces them to service-related courses as they begin to shape their academic paths. After accepting a service internship, Service Focus students meet as a larger community to expand their understanding of how and why to serve.

SUMMER INTERNSHIP: SERVE & CONNECT

While engaging in the summer service internship, students connect in-person or virtually with other Service Focus students. They support and learn from one another, sharing stories along the way.

SOPHOMORE YEAR: REFLECT & SUSTAIN

Students become part of a close-knit peer group that meets monthly with a Service Focus staff member. They support each other through reflection on their service experiences, service-related coursework, and development of their academic paths. Each peer group is paired with a Faculty Mentor who shares their own passion for service and offers guidance about integrating service into academics, work and life. Groups regularly get off campus to engage directly with community partners. Students have the opportunity to apply for funding to develop and implement impactful student-led projects.