Sacred Heart University offers a special program for incoming freshmen interested in community service. Community Connections, an orientation program led by senior students and involving faculty and staff, provides an introduction to various service opportunities in the surrounding community and increases students' understanding of urban issues.
Service in the community is an integral part of the mission of Sacred Heart University. Many opportunities exist for students to become involved during the academic year, through a service-learning project, Campus Ministry or volunteer program.
The first such opportunity for incoming Freshmen is Community Connections. Twenty Freshmen and four upper class leaders, together with faculty and staff members, will spend six days at St. Charles Catholic Urban Center in Bridgeport, where they will work together to renovate Habitat for Humanity houses, serve people at the Merton House (soup kitchen) and share time with urban children and parents. Students may help run a sports program at a neighborhood community center, do Read-Aloud programs at a nearby school or work on a park project. Students will work at sites that have already hosted Sacred Heart University volunteers.
Community Connections does not require any previous construction or teaching experience, but a positive attitude, a willingness to work together, an open mind and a good sense of humor are important.