Civic engagement is at the heart of our core values.
But what is civic engagement? Civic engagement can be a number of different activities, ranging from volunteer work at a local soup kitchen to writing a letter to a state official. Here at Widener 75% of our seniors participated in community service or volunteer activities, 29% as part of a course, compared to 17% of college students nationally (2009 National Survey of Student Engagement).
In Project LEAD, students get a jump-start on leadership development by taking the lead on a civic engagement project. Once comfortable around campus, students can decide to volunteer through one of our student service organizations to become a Big Brother or Big Sister.
Student athletes may find managing concession stands and games at the Delaware County Special Olympics – a decades-long tradition carried on by our Athletics Department – a great way to get civically involved.
If a student wishes to be part of Greek life, they will get involved in numerous service opportunities, as our fraternities and sororities were engaged in 2,569 service hours in 2010-2011.
Clinics at our Delaware Law School and Commonwealth Law School provide free legal assistance through clinics that help veterans, victims of domestic violence, and others who are concerned with bankruptcy, family issues, environmental crimes, criminal defense, consumer issues, and divorce in Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Inside and outside the classroom, students will find:
- Undergraduate education students and Widener faculty working side-by-side in the Widener Partnership Charter School and the Widener Childhood Development Center.
- Graduate students in our physical therapy program who help Chester residents in a neighborhood physical therapy clinic at no or low cost.
Sometimes getting involved at Widener will take students across the U.S. – or across the globe – where they will:
- Put in “sweat equity” with Habitat for Humanity in cities and towns across the U.S. while on Alternative Spring Break.
- Bring low-cost, sustainable solar energy to a tribal village in Panama through Solar Energy for Ella Drua (SEED), a project started by Widener’s Engineers Without Borders student chapter.
Leadership Skills That Make A Difference
As a member of the Presidential Service Corps (PSC)/Bonner Leaders, students have the opportunity to tutor school children or be a companion for the elderly in the local community and participate in an international trip every year to help others beyond the borders of the United States.
Our students are encouraged to get involved because no matter what their personal interests may be, there are always opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.