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What is your motivation? Why do you want to volunteer? What do you hope to get out of the experience? Develop leadership skills? Learn about a social issue? Develop a course project? 

What are your interests? What are you passionate about? What population or community do you want to serve–the homeless, elders, children, prisoners? Do you want to be an activist or an advocate? Work at grassroots organizing or do research?

How much time can you commit? How much time do you have and when are you available? Will you have time to participate in training before you begin? Can you make an on-going commitment to one agency or are you looking for one-time events that don't require a regular commitment?

Research the Possibilities

Student Programs: The Public Service Center has over 30 student programs that are involved with service experiences locally and nationally. 

Volunteer Opportunities: For one-time opportunities, including date-specific or event type needs in the local community and opportunities beyond Ithaca, check out the list of Volunteer Opportunities.

Get a Job Serving the Community: If you have a Federal Work-Study award to work off campus, the Community Work-Study Program can help you find opportunities with over 50 local non-profits.

Take a Service-Learning Course: Service-learning courses engage students, faculty, and community partners on issues relating to poverty, literacy, education, access, health care, immigration, hunger, affordable housing, environment, and others.

Still not sure what you want to do?

Meet with a student Center Program Specialist (CPS) who can help guide you through the various opportunities within the community and the Public Service Center. To make an appointment, email

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