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Our engaged citizenship programs use research and community engaged learning to connect students from the classroom to the community. One of Hamilton’s educational goals is “developing an awareness of the challenges and responsibilities of local, national and global citizenship, and the ability to meet such challenges and fulfill such responsibilities by exercising sound and informed judgment in accordance with just principals.” Engaged citizens work to create strong communities through an understanding of the people who live there.

Anti-Poverty Internship Program: SHECP

The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty program is a unique program where students are assigned to carefully vetted anti-poverty internships in both urban and rural areas across the country. In addition to an internship, you will live with a cohort of SHECP interns from other colleges and universities. The Levitt Center and COOP cover the cost of participating and the program provides housing, a modest living stipend, and transportation costs. Hamilton students who choose to do additional reflective work over the summer are eligible for a $1000 educational award that is applied to the student's college account at the end of the summer.  Students apply through the SHECP application portal. Deadline for applications was January 10, 2021.

Public Service Internship

These awards provide funding for students who have secured an unpaid summer internship that focuses on some aspect of public service, enabling students to grow as engaged citizens and gain experience that they may use to build careers related to public service.

Project SHINE

Project SHINE is a community engaged learning program through which students act as English coaches to refugees and immigrants in the Utica area. Through this program, students provide a valuable service to the community’s newest residents and gain an understanding of the needs and circumstances of others through working directly in the community.

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)

VITA is a community engaged learning program through which Hamilton students provide free tax help for low- to moderate-income families who need assistance with their tax returns. The Levitt Center provides course development grants for professors who incorporate VITA into their courses.

Law and Justice Lab

Formally started in 2020-21, The Law and Justice Lab Program seeks to pair the theoretical study of the legal system with the practical application of these concepts to dynamic, real world issues.

Isabelle Van Hook ’11

Hamilton Changemaker

During her time at Hamilton, Isabelle Van Hook ’11 created and launched "Friends without Borders." She recruited 20 volunteers from Hamilton to work with refugees on ESL tutoring, so that the refugees could be more comfortable participating in community events. The program continues today. Isabelle has also returned to campus the past three winters to serve as a facilitator for the Levitt Leadership Institute.

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