Princeton student volunteers conducting an math workshop at a high school.
 

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

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. Guidance on Selecting a Summer Service Internship

Princeton offers many opportunities for funded service internships across the country and around the world. Service Focus advises first-year students on how to find an internship that aligns with their academic and personal goals, guiding them through the application process. 

 
“A university brings together intelligent, motivated citizens, so it is a pre-made place where organization can happen.”

2. 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.

A visiting lecturer discussing technology and the environment with Princeton students.

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. Reflection 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 think about how service matters widely. They share and workshop their plans for integrating service into their Princeton experience and beyond.
 

 
Professor and students conversing about activism and social change.
— MARTA TIENDA, Maurice P. During Professor in Demographic Studies, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, and Director, Program in Latino Studies

TIMELINE

Community Action Support Team

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 Fellow who shares their own passion for service and offers guidance about integrating service into academics, work and life. Graduate students provide additional mentorship.