Volunteer Programs

The JCCP has 19 student-run programs in a variety of areas. These programs vary in level of commitment, with most being a weekly commitment. We strongly encourage longer-term commitments to help foster stronger connections with our community members.

If you do not see a program that fits your interest, check out our listing of local service agencies, or stop by the JCCP and we'll be happy to help you find a site that connects with your interests.

Any student participating in one of these groups must complete our JCCP Engagement Registration Form

Literacy Programs

  • Cardinal Kids

    Student Coordinators: Jack Vigue, Zach Glenn, Safiya Sekkm-Miles 


    Mission: Cardinal Kids was founded in 2018 by four Wesleyan students who believe that all children should have access to quality extra-curricular enrichment. Cardinal Kids provides unique lessons that excite and engage their students. They create a safe and inclusive space in which all kids feel free to explore, express, and ask questions. They also seek to provide teacher training and experience for Wesleyan students interested in going into education.

    Work: Using their unique set of skills, each teacher at Cardinal Kids adapts their on-campus work and passions into fun, kid-friendly lessons. The group seeks teachers and teachers' assistants to bring their lessons to the classroom. Lessons are taught several days a week at Macdonough Elementary School and Snow Elementary School. Cardinal Kids also coordinates Bread Salvage which increases food security in the Middletown community. Each week, hundreds of loaves of bread are distributed to Middletown elementary school children and their families, many of whom come from low-income households that may have inadequate access to healthy and affordable food.

  • Cross Street Tutoring Partnership

    Student Coordinators: Christa Ishimwe ( cishimwe@wesleyan.edu ) and Melat Amde Gebremeskel ( mgebremeskel@wesleyan.edu )

    Mission: This long-running program connects Wesleyan students to the Cross Street AME Zion Church community. Tutors work with K-5 students and support community member-led enrichment activities such as martial arts and dance. 

    Work: Tutors provide after-school homework support to students Monday-Thursday from 4:00-6:00 pm.

  • The Foster Connection

    Student Coordinators: Drew Gessel, Darren Boyce fcsp.wesleyan@gmail.com

    Mission: The Foster Connection aims to eliminate achievement gaps that drive the foster care-to-prison pipeline by offering one-on-one tutoring and mentorship to high school foster students across Connecticut.

    Every foster student is carefully matched to tutors based on individual academic needs, learning styles, interests, and schedule preferences. For more information on how to apply to become a tutor and make a difference, please go to www.thefosterconnection.org.

    Stay up to date with the Foster Connection! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • Individual Tutoring

    Student Coordinator:  Natchanok Wandee, Alex Trufinescu, and Aaron Berson westutors@gmail.com

    Mission: Individual Tutoring provides quality, reliable free tutoring for Middletown residents. They create an easy way for Wesleyan students to share their talents and academic strengths without having to sacrifice other commitments. Their tutors work to engage in the community and bridge the gap between Wesleyan and Middletown.

    Get matched up with people of all ages who need help in a certain area or school subject. Work as much as you'd like, but at least one hour a week. You don't even have to leave campus as the tutees come here to meet you!

    Stay up to date on Individual Tutoring! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • Musical Mentoring
    Student Coordinator: Miles Allen (mallen01@wesleyan.edu)

    The Musical Mentoring program is a collaboration with Oddfellows Playhouse that pairs individual Wesleyan students with a student aged 6-11. These lessons are tailored to fit the individual needs of different learners, and the mentors work closely with their students to develop their musical skills and interest. They currently offer guitar, keyboard, voice, ukelele, violin, cello, clarinet, oboe and saxophone lessons that are open to all.
  • Traverse Square After-School Program

    Student Coordinators: Kayla Penza, Sofia Chartove traversesquare@gmail.com

    Mission: Student run and neighborhood based, the Traverse Square After-school program provides a community setting for children within the Traverse Square public housing community to receive academic and social support. Also known as "The Center," this student designed program is geared to provide Middletown children with the proper resources to succeed in all aspects of life. Helping the children with their homework is the main goal of the program, and they also provide academic enrichment, recreational activities, and Friday afternoon field trips for the students.

    This program runs Monday - Thursday from 4 - 6pm, with occasional Fridays. Each day tutors help kids with homework and then play games, do arts and crafts, and work on projects. Tutors are asked to commit at least one day per week.

    Stay up to date on Traverse Square! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • WELLP (Wesleyan English Language Learners Program)

    Student Coordinator: Darin Iraj (diraj@wesleyan.edu)

    Mission: This program seeks to narrow the achievement gap between English Language Learners and Native English speakers, as well as increase the retention rate for this demographic within the Middletown Public School system. Currently, they send tutors to Beman Middle School. In addition, WELLP partners with SAWA, a Syrian refugee group based out of Hartford, for virtual one on one tutoring.

    At Beman Middle School, students serve as classroom assistants, in person, to help with English language learning. SAWA tutors work one-on-one with a student for the whole semester online to help with English language learning.

    Stay up to date on WELLP! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • WesReads / WesMath

    Student Coordinator: Jess Pordy, Arlette Aguilera, Andrew Engel wes.reads.math@gmail.com

    WesReads/WesMath provides in-class assistance for reading and math in grades K-5 at local elementary schools. Wesleyan tutors give general classroom support that varies based on the teacher’s needs; it can include assisting individual students with reading or math assignments, leading small groups through activities, or answering questions that come up as students complete work independently. You can commit to as little as one session per week (30min- 1 hour), or sign up for several shifts. 

    Stay up to date on WesReads/WesMath! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • WUMSTP (Wesleyan University Middle School Tutoring Partnership)

    Student Coordinators: Thais Garcia, Charlotte Ruwende, Matt Nusbaum, Abby Lyell wwmstutor@gmail.com

    Mission: This intervention program serves middle school students who are failing subjects, at risk of retention, and/or in need of general and academic support. Students are identified by their team of teachers and matched one-on-one with Wesleyan students for in-school tutoring. With a major focus on building relationships across the college-middle school gap, tutors assist students with schoolwork, work to identify major issues affecting students motivation, and serve as a general support for building confidence and changing academic performance.

    Tutors pull together middle school students during the academic day and tutor them in subjects they need support in. They can expect to commit about 4 hours a week to the program. 

    Stay up to date on WUMSTP! Join their group on WesNest here!

Civic Engagement Programs

  • ASHA (Adolescent Sexual Health Awareness)

    Student Coordinators: Blythe Guecia, Nicole Allina, Zariah Greene asha.wesleyan@gmail.com

    Mission: ASHA works to provide young people with the resources and knowledge they need to make
    healthy sexual decisions. We empower young people to be active participants in their sexual
    education and to take charge of their bodies as well as their emotional and physical health.

    ASHA seeks to create classroom environments that:

    1. Promote healthy behavior.
    2. Are accepting of a wide variety of sexual activities and decisions.
    3. Encourage consent and communication between partners.

    Website: http://asha.group.wesleyan.edu

    Stay up to date on ASHA! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • Hunger and Homelessness and Related Programs

    Food Rescue:

    Student Coordinators: Gina Gwiazda, Imogen Frazier, Ari Hart, and Lucia Voges  wesfoodrescue@gmail.com

    Mission: Food Rescue aims to reduce waste on campus and help to alleviate food insecurity in our community. They also strive to build awareness of both environmental issues regarding waste as well as hunger and food insecurity in our community and on a greater scale.

    Student volunteers collect food that is normally wasted from Pi Cafe, Summerfields and Usdan and take it to Eddy Shelter, an emergency shelter about 5 minutes from campus.Students establish a valuable community connection and residents of the shelter receive daily meals. Students sign up for half hour, weekly shifts where they pick up the excess food from our dining options and drive them to the Eddy Shelter, just 5 minutes from campus. They aim to foster a community around fighting hunger and homelessness in our own city.

    Stay up to date on Food Rescue! Join their group on WesNest here!

    Habitat for Humanity:

    Student Coordinators: Calista Huang (chuang02@wesleyan.edu) and Julia Rumberger (jerumberger@wesleyan.edu)

    Mission: Wesleyan Habitat for Humanity partners with Middlesex Habitat for Humanity to build affordable housing for first-time home owners in the local community as well as to provide renovations to existing homes owned by deserving families.

    Every Saturday, help out at the Habitat Restore in Cromwell or work on a local build.

    Stay up to date on Habitat for Humanity! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • Wesleyan Book Buds

    Student Coordinator: Alice Dauchez ( adauchez@wesleyan.edu ), Angelina Chang ( achang01@wesleyan.edu ), Hazel Hand ( hhand@wesleyan.edu )

    Mission: The Wesleyan Book Buds aims to bridge the literacy gap for students living in primarily low-income communities in Middletown. They have partnered with Macdonough Elementary School, Woodrow Wilson Middle School, the Book Mobile project, and the Cross Street Church After School Tutoring Program.

    They organize book drives and donate books to several community partners, including schools, religious organizations, and literacy programs. They ask Wesleyan students to bring children’s books with them from home and donate them to donation bins placed around campus. 

    Stay up to date on Wesleyan Book Buds! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • WesBuds

    Student Coordinators: Holly He (hhe@wesleyan.edu); Liv Drazen (ldrazen@wesleyan.edu)

    Mission: WesBuds is a partnership between Wesleyan students and the students of Middlesex Transition Academy (MTA). MTA is a school right on Wesleyan's campus for students 18-21 who have intellectual or developmental disabilities and are looking to address their own individual transition needs after high school. In WesBuds, we make new friends, participate in fun events like soccer clinics, watching movies, chilling on Foss, and dancing! It is a wonderful way to get to know our community and meet new, amazing people in it.

    Stay up to date on WesBuds! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • Wesleyan Doula Project

    Student Coordinator: Abby Frazee (afrazee@wesleyan.edu); Olivia Andrews (oandrews@wesleyan.edu); Isabel Koral (ikoral@wesleyan.edu

    Mission: The Wesleyan Doula Project (WDP) is a student-run collective dedicated to providing free and compassionate support for people making the decision to terminate their pregnancies. By providing emotional, physical, and informational support and advocacy, they work to combat the stigma around abortion and reproductive health and to ensure that each individual receives the care they deserve. As the only college-based doula project in the country, the WDP strives to empower students to pursue reproductive health work and to strengthen connections between Wesleyan and the local community. Driven by the values of health, equity, and Reproductive Justice, the WDP is part of a national Full-Spectrum Doula Movement committed to making doula care accessible to all people and all pregnancy outcomes.

    Stay up to date on Wesleyan Doula Project! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • Wesleyan Refugee Project

    Student Coordinators: Maryam Badr (mbadr@wesleyan.edu), Gaybchoe Lhamo (glhamo@wesleyan.edu)

    Mission: This student organization was started at Wesleyan University in the Fall of 2015. They are a passionate group of Wesleyan students volunteering, fundraising, and raising awareness of current refugee crises. They work with a number of international and local nonprofit organizations, assisting in areas such as tutoring, legal aid, and refugee resettlement.

    Support the Connecticut refugee community and bring awareness to the current worldwide refugee crisis by helping refugees at Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS), a nonprofit organization that resettles refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Congo, Sudan, and numerous other countries. Work with refugees through the Middletown Refugee Resettlement Coalition (MRRC), International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), the Karam Foundation, Paper Airplanes, and other nonprofit organizations assisting in areas such as legal aid, tutoring, and refugee resettlement. You could also help bring artists, activists, and academics to Wesleyan’s campus to raise awareness about refugee-related issues worldwide. Or fundraise for organizations that provide life-saving services to displaced persons and refugees around the world.

    Stay up to date on Wesleyan Refugee Project! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • WesNEAT

    Student Coordinators: Jess Burks, Maya Alicki, Elena Brennan wesneat@gmail.com

    Mission: WesNEAT focuses on community organizing and town-gown relations. We encourage Wesleyan students (ourselves included) to actively consider and
    question what it means to be members of an institution that concentrates extreme wealth within a broader community that doesn’t have access to the same privileges. Our work includes researching and archiving materials related to historical campus resources,
    bringing speakers who participate in local organizing to campus, and repurposing and redistributing campus funding and resources for the Middletown community. Each semester WesNEAT members choose a couple different student-led projects to work on, ranging from
    tending to community gardens, to creating social media and print resources about the history of town-gown relations, to collecting food, supplies, and money to redistribute to Middletown residents.

    WesNEAT website: https://www.wesneat.org/

    Say up to date on WesNEAT! Join their group on WesNest here!

  • WRAL (Wesleyan Reproductive Advocacy & Legislation

    Student Coordinators: Abby Nicholson (anicholson@wesleyan.edu); Annika Shiffer-Delegard (ashifferdele@wesleyan.edu); Nicole Allina (nallina@wesleyan.edu

    WRAL is a club dedicated to supporting the reproductive justice movement through different forms of advocacy and outreach both on and off-campus. Reproductive justice is “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities” (SisterSong). Our main goals include advocating for relevant legislation, improving reproductive health on-campus, educating our community, and supporting abortion clinics in Connecticut.