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Community Work Study

Become a member of the CWS program!

The Community Work Study (CWS) program places undergraduate students at nonprofit and public organizations in the Greater New Haven area. The students are compensated entirely through Federal Work Study funds, allowing students to have regular income at no cost to the community organization.

Students are able to gain real world experience while still having a support system at UNH. The program offers a professional development aspect not found in many on-campus work study jobs. Students are able to take advantage of professional development workshops that respond directly to the areas they feel they need to enhance. Students are encouraged to reflect on their experience through monthly reflection sessions.

This is also an opportunity to make valuable contacts within the Greater New Haven area. In a few instances, students have been hired as  employees at their work site. To participate in the CWS program you must be an undergraduate student, be eligible for Federal Work Study, and you must be committed to working at a nonprofit or public organization for one full academic year.

In the 2012-2013 academic year, students in the Community Work Study program worked a total of 5,832 hours. The value of that service according to the independent is $162,527.94! 

Check out the Community Work Study Brochure which can be found here or picked up in the International and Experiential Education office located in Kaplan 210. 

  1. CWS Stories

    Click the tabs to read  stories about current CWS participants and how they are making an impact in the New Haven community!

  2. Elicia

    A student who is directly assisting a community need is Elicia, a case management assistant with No Closed Doors (NCD). She is a first year CWS student and a junior at UNH. NCD is part of the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project. NCD provides case management for low-income and homeless clients and is run primarily by volunteer college students. Elicia helps her clients in ways such as helping them find employment, work on resumes, and prepare for interviews. She says that this experience has allowed her to develop skills she has learned in her classes as well as develop a deep appreciation for the things she has. Elicia stated that she has opened her eyes to the issue of homelessness and how prevalent it is in New Haven. According to the United Way, about 8,875 persons are receiving homeless services in emergency shelters, transitional housing and other emergency shelter type venues.

    Here is one example of Elicia's contribution while at NCD. One of her clients, Randy, was unemployed and looking for any type of work to support himself. He did not have strong computer skills and looked to NCD for help applying to jobs online. He came in everyday for two weeks and they applied for many jobs. Randy finally got called for an interview. He was so happy that somebody gave him a chance. The next day, he came back and told Elicia that he got the job. All of his hard work paid off and it made her feel so good to help someone in that way. Elicia was sad to see Randy leave but was glad that he has a steady job. Guiding him really helped Elicia get a sense of how people live and how important it is to help out the community.

  3. Emily

    Another example of an UNH undergraduate giving back to her community is Emily with the West Haven Community House. The West Haven Community House is a nonprofit working to assist in developing healthy and productive lives for children, adolescents, families, and individuals with disabilities. Emily works with their Head Start program, a comprehensive preschool for low-income children. She works with a dietician to perform sight and eye examinations as well as calculate the children’s BMI. Nationally, more than 33 percent of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, nearly 25 million kids and teenagers (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). The program works closely with the dietician to encourage healthy eating habits early in life.

  4. Michelle

    According to Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven, 30% of the adult population of New Haven is at the lowest level of literacy, which is double the state average. The UNH undergraduate Michelle (a second year CWS Student) is personally working on reducing that number by teaching a beginning ESL class at Gateway Community College every Friday evening. The class is mainly comprised of refugee students and is free for residents! Michelle also utilizes her Spanish speaking skills with clients who are fluent.