The Summer Service Program, founded in 1957, provides students with an opportunity to make a positive difference, serving and engaging with the wider community for a 10-week summer volunteer experience. The program places an emphasis on leadership development, personal and spiritual growth, and reflection on what it means to be a socially responsible citizen. At the center of the program is the opportunity to develop one’s skills in interfaith leadership, intentionally engaging with others across lines of difference to help make a more peaceful and just world. Volunteer sites include religious, secular, and social service organizations in California, Washington, and Oregon. The program welcomes students of all religious, philosophical, and secular perspectives.
Quotes from Summer Service Participants
“I can honestly say that this summer was life changing. I found myself this summer. I had the opportunity to bike everywhere and enjoy the richness of nature. I loved the sight of fireflies, the dark sky, the smell of fresh air, the delicious fruits I picked with my own hands. I had time to think and talk to people about my faith and to explore it more deeply. I had the opportunity to do things I never imagined doing in my life, like milking a cow, eating out of compost, talking with people I would usually stay away from. I had been missing out, and I can say that I am a better version of myself because of this experience.” – Jacqueline Perez-Valencia, New Community Project, VA
“I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in Summer Service! I was able to make close friends, grow as a person, and make a positive difference.” – Euridicy Rodriguez, Camp Koinonia, WA
“I have not only received an education about grass roots organizing, but also about how to better communities.” – Abril Camarena, Dolores Huerta Foundation, CA
“You don’t know who you truly are until you are faced with struggle, uncomfortableness, and conflict. The experiences you allow to happen in your life will be the only experiences that will transform you.” Yelsse Bahena, New Community Project, VA
“Once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse myself in a difference faith and way of thinking.” – Ruby Romero, Baha’i Community, Rancho Cucamonga
“What I see most often is that students return from their Summer Service experience changed. Students not only develop their leadership skills and provide important service to a community; they also explore big questions about life, grow and mature, deepen their values, and become more of who they want to be in the world.” -Zandra Wagoner, University Chaplain