Student Volunteerism and Community Engagement
The Office of Student Volunteerism and Community Engagement provides opportunities for student learning and development through civic and community programming and engagement.
We support service and volunteerism across the campus, in the local community, in the Rochester / Buffalo region, and throughout the United States. We foster relationships between SUNY Geneseo and the community, increase awareness and of society's needs, and work to address pressing issues through volunteerism and service.
Looking for ways to connect and serve? Use the online Engage Geneseo request form to submit your interests and availability and we'll provide you with opportunities that meet your needs. You can find an internship, volunteer at a one time event, or establish a long term service experience - you tell us what you are looking for and we'll match you with a great opportunity!
April is National Volunteer Month - Find out how you can get involved today!
Visit: National Volunteer Month to search events and register for projects for individuals and groups. From yard work, to farm and garden prep, to donation sorting, to giving blood, there are many ways to get engaged and give back.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas for projects or any questions about the events.
Going Virtual Expands HEROES Youth Mentoring Program - A project of the Office of Student Volunteerism and Community Engagement
SUNY Geneseo’s youth mentoring program HEROES (Higher Educational Resources and Opportunities for Equitable Schools) is expanding, thanks to virtual opportunities for high school mentees and new course credit for their college mentors.
HEROES, created in 2007 as an AmeriCorps VISTA project, is a mentoring partnership between SUNY Geneseo and students in grades 9–12 across New York State. Under the auspices of Geneseo’s Center for Community and with the guidance of Garth Freeman, director of the Office of Student Volunteerism and Community Engagement, trained mentors work one-on-one biweekly with high school students, serving as positive role models, lending support and a listening ear, and navigating that middle ground between an authority figure and a friend. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to encourage high school students to go to college.
“My mentor has helped me get a head start on what I want to focus on and eventually major in in college and hopefully my future career path,” says Justin Gomes, a freshman from Queens, NY, who attends the High School for Construction, Trades, Architecture, and Engineering. He’s relying on his mentor’s help to figure out some basics, like how to secure scholarships and “how to apply to colleges now so I don’t get overwhelmed later on in my senior year of high school.”
Forced online in 2020, HEROES turned virtual mentorship and professional development sessions into a growth asset. Expanding its range into Rochester, Syracuse, and New York City—and picking up students like Gomes—has tripled its number of mentees.
The program is designed to support a diverse student population from any background, identity, or walk of life, and “going virtual helped widen our targeted audience of underserved, low-income, and first-generation students,” says Jose Romero ’22, an English adolescence education major and senior coordinator of program operations for HEROES.
Geneseo mentors have a diverse array of majors, from education to business administration, psychology to communication.
Mentor Susanna Dolan ’23, an English adolescence education major from Kinderhook, NY, has found the program extraordinarily rewarding. Drawn to the opportunity to work with high school students, she received a virtual one-credit internship for participating in Fall 2021. For Spring 2022, the program has expanded to a full class for which she’ll receive credit and an A–E letter grade.
“Course approval bodes well for the long-term sustainability of the program,” says Freeman, “and Romero has committed an immense amount of professional-level work into developing the new program model.”
Last fall, HEROES also began partnering with Geneseo’s admissions department to provide mentors with support, information, and resources. Mentors now have access to senior admissions counselors, regional recruiters, and webinars on topics such as the application process, building a class schedule, and packing for college. Mentees interested in attending Geneseo will receive an application fee waiver.
“Our work as a program speaks to the learning outcomes Geneseo emphasizes for its students,” says Romero, “including developing leadership, collaboration, and global awareness and engagement.”
Geneseo students interested in applying as a mentor
High school students who wish to enroll in the program
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