Volunteer Programs

The OCS has about 15 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 OCS 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 The OCS Registration Process and fill out an activity waiver. Please fill out an activity waiver for each group you are a member of.

  • ASHA (Adolescent Sexual Health Awareness)

    Student Coordinators: Jessica Brandon, Maya Layne, and Grace Stanfield 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 OrgSync here!

  • Cardinal Kids

    Student Coordinators: Mariel Middlebrook, George Perez, Saoirse Lewis, and Zoe Austin   

    wescardinalkids@gmail.com 


    Mission: Cardinal Kids was founded in 2018 by four Wesleyan students who believe that all children should have access to quality extra-curricular enrichment. It is our goal to provide unique lessons that excite and engage our students. It is important to us that Wesleyan remains a positive, active force within the Middletown community. They hope to 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.

    Using their unique set of skills, each teacher at Cardinal Kids adapts their on-campus work and passions into fun, kid-friendly lessons. Lessons are taught several days a week at RJ Julia Bookstore, Oddfellows Playhouse, and Snow School. 

    See their website for more information.

     

  • Foster Care Support Program

    Student Coordinators: Katerin Ortega and Elizabeth Bannon  fcsp.wesleyan@gmail.com

    Mission: The Foster Care Support Program is dedicated to providing educational resources to orphans in the Connecticut foster care system. .

    Connect with children from one of the therapeutic foster care houses in Meriden, CT for a semester. Work as a tutor-mentor by aiding with academic work and offering encouragement through conversation. 

  • Hunger and Homelessness and Related Programs
    Mission: The Hunger and Homelessness Program provides both direct service opportunities and the opportunity to address the root causes of hunger and housing issues in our community. H&H also oversees other hunger and homelessness related student groups.

    For more information on H&H, visit their website or their Orgsync page.
    The Hunger and Homelessness umbrella includes these programs:

    Food Rescue:

    Student Coordinators: Claire Isenegger, Gina Gwiazda, and Dillon Noone  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 OrgSync here!


    Bread Salvage:
    Student Coordinator: Sarah Mount wesfoodsalvage@gmail.com
    Mission: Bread Salvage seeks to increase food security in the greater Middletown community by delivering bread to local elementary schools on a consistent, weekly basis. Each week, hundreds of loaves of bread are distributed to Middletown elementary school children and their families, many of which come from low-income households that may have inadequate access to healthy and affordable food. Additionally, they hope to increase dialogue and awareness surrounding local, national, and global food issues, e.g. food equity, food insecurity, food deserts.

    Stay up to date on Bread Salvage! Join their group on OrgSync here!


    Habitat for Humanity:

    Student Coordinator: Zelda Galdenzi and Abigail Matlack amatlack@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 OrgSync here!

  • Individual Tutoring

    Student Coordinator: Corynn Greene and Gila Glattstein 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 OrgSync here!

  • Julia's Star

    Student Coordinator: Tara Nair tnair@wesleyan.edu
    Mission: The Julia's Star program brings Wesleyan students into fifth grade classrooms in Middletown to create a safe space for positive dialogue about prejudice and tolerance.

    Volunteers use a short children's book written by a Wesleyan student to help students understand the impact of stereotypes, both on a micro and a macro level. They discuss how to ask carefully and thoughtfully about other people's identities and encourage the students to share their own identities with the group. By collecting letters from the students, they retain a meaningful connection with Johanna's family and keep her legacy alive and thriving here at Wes.  

  • Traverse Square After-School Program

    Student Coordinators: Katie Cahn, Jahmir Duran-Abreu, Ginger Hutchinson, and Andrew Callahan 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 OrgSync here!

  • WELLP (Wesleyan English Language Learners Program)

    Student Coordinator: Erica Ekhator eekhator@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 the Woodrow Wilson Middle School, but hope to expand soon to the Middletown High School, as well as local elementary schools.

    Tutors work one-on-one with students at the local middle school to help with English language learning.  

  • WesAGE (Wesleyan Alliance for Generational Exchange)

    Student Coordinators: Mary McAllister and Ilan Small elderly@wesleyan.edu

    WesAGE provides the unique opportunity to leave the confines of the Wesleyan bubble and interact with the elderly members of the Middletown community. Often, these older residents of Middletown live alone in isolated communities and appreciate the chance to bond with lively Wesleyan students. Much of the time, their families are not in close proximity so they are able to step in and provide them with company on a weekly basis. Through these relationships, students have been able to benefit from exchanging stores and experiences from this widely overlooked population in the community.

    Members have the opportunity to engage in group social hours at One MacDonough Senior Center or individual visits with their own elderly companion.

    Stay up to date on WesAGE! Join their group on OrgSync here!

  • WesNEAT

    Coordinators: Alphina Kamara and Emily McEvoy emcevoy@wesleyan.edu

    Mission: WesNEAT is a group of student volunteers who staff the office of the North End Action Team (NEAT), a nonprofit organization in Middletown whose goals are to empower, address the concerns of, and provide resources to citizens of the North End. A volunteer will typically work a 2 hour shift once a week (with a partner) at the NEAT office, located at
    654 Main St. Work will include answering the phone, helping community members who enter the office one-on-one, maintaining a log of community members being served, and communicating needs to NEAT’s board members when necessary. Volunteers will be trained on NEAT’s programs and the typical resources that community members will need assistance with, e.g. 211 services. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to attend meetings coordinated with NEAT board members, to get a deeper sense of the organization’s place in Middletown and its official structure.

    PREP Center Mission: The Pursuing Re-Entry and Employment Possibilities (PREP) Center is a program that operates out of the North End Action Team Office, designed to help formerly incarcerated community members attain the skills, resources, and confidence for re-entry into the workforce. In 2-hour shifts with at least 2 people each, volunteers will staff the NEAT office on Fridays from 10 AM to 4 PM. Volunteers will work one-on-one with PREP visitors on things like online resume or cover letter writing, mock interviews, or finding business casual clothes from the PREP Center’s collection of donated clothing. Since PREP is a relatively new program, volunteers will also be expected to help publicize it in the Middletown community. 

    Check out the North End Action Team website: https://neatmiddletown.org/


    Say up to date on WesNEAT and the PREP Center! Join their group on OrgSync here!

  • Wesleyan Book Buds

    Student Coordinators: Melisa Olgun and Ricardo Vega rvega@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. 

  • Wesleyan Doula Project

    Student Coordinators: Lucy de Lotbiniere (ldelotbinier@wesleyan.edu), Shantih Kleen (skleen@wesleyan.edu), & Grace Sanford (amoses@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 OrgSync here!

  • WesReads/WesMath

    Student Coordinators: Fiona Slusarev, and Chris White  wes.reads.math@gmail.com

    Mission: WesReads/WesMath is a Wesleyan tutoring program whose mission is to provide support for higher-level learners in the areas of reading and math at Macdonough Elementary School and Farm Hill Elementary School in Middletown, CT. Through focusing on higher-level learners, they are able to help students fine tune their reading and math skills and thus perform better on standardized testing, paving the road for them to have access to upper level classes in middle school. This also gives teachers the opportunity to focus on the students who might be struggling with their reading or math skills, and who students might not be qualified to help.

    Help with a program that has two parts. The first part is the pull-out groups, in which you'd work with two to three elementary school students outside the classroom on either math or reading. The second part is in-class tutoring, in which tutors provide assistance and supervision in the classrooms. Commit at least one hour per week, but sign up for as many time slots as you would like. 

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

  • Wesleyan Refugee Project

    Student Coordinator: Jake Multer jmulter@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 OrgSync here!

  • WUMPST (Wesleyan University Middle School Tutoring Partnership)

    Student Coordinators: Paul Willems, Christian Quinones, and Isabel Armour-Garb 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 Woodrow Wilson! Join their group on OrgSync here!

  • Special Events

    The OCS sponsors and supports several one time events throughout the year. For more information on upcoming events, visit the Wesleyan ENGAGE blog and subscribe to the weekly Wesleyan ENGAGE newsletter.

    Interested students can contact Diana Martinez (dmmartinez@wesleyan.edu).