Community Connections

Community Connections is a pre-fall immersion program that introduces incoming first-year students to service opportunities in the surrounding community and increases their understanding of urban issues. About fifty incoming students live and work in Bridgeport, Connecticut for the week prior to the start of fall semester classes. Students volunteer with various nonprofit organizations and social service agencies throughout the city, such as soup kitchens, schools and youth programs, beautification projects, elderly care facilities, and programs for individuals with disabilities. Each evening students return to their host site to cook, participate in reflection activities, engage in cultural activities, and get to know one another. Upperclassmen serve as site leaders for the week along with SHU faculty and staff. Community partners also participate by leading discussions on issues facing the urban community.

Community Connections provides a great way to meet other students with similar interests. The program does not require any specific experience, but a positive attitude, a willingness to work together, an open mind and a good sense of humor are important.

Community Connections provides students with an opportunity to explore urban issues such as poverty, immigration, racism, and changing economic conditions first-hand. These issues, as well as concepts of service and social justice, are topics discussed with faculty, staff, students, and community leaders throughout the week.

Please note that Community Connections is an off-campus pre-fall program. Student participants will move in to their first-year dorm rooms during the morning of Saturday, August 19, 2017. Participants will then be taken off campus for the week and will be sleeping in local community host sites (e.g. church or community center). Students will not return to the SHU campus until the morning of Friday, August 25, 2017.

Cost: $200 (Payment is not due until after you receive your acceptance into the Community Connections program).

Dates: August 19 - Friday, August 25, 2017  

Contact: Jill Gray, Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning, at or 203-365-4710

Application Deadline: Friday, June 30, 2017