About the Summer of Service ProgramThe Catholic University of America’s Campus Ministry Department runs many programs that allow students to foster relationships with marginalized and vulnerable communities. The Community Service Program mobilizes students to serve in the DC area, and the Service & Justice Immersion Program facilitates one and two week-long domestic and international immersion experiences. In recognition of the opportunities for transformation that arise from being in relationship with our marginalized or vulnerable sisters and brothers, the Summer of Service Program supports Catholic University students who dedicate their whole summer break to solidarity through service and justice.
The Summer of Service Program is a chance for freshman, sophomore, and junior undergraduate students to partner with volunteer organizations, engaging in approximately two months of direct service, while living in the communities where they work. The purpose of this program is to allow students who are inspired to work for the common good to use their summer to accompany and learn from the communities they in which they work.
What Will I Do?
You'll serve at a non-profit organization for approximately 2 months (8-10 weeks) during the summer. There are many programs that accept summer volunteers, and below are some organizations you might want to check out. Our Campus Ministry staff can also help you to find others as well if you are interested. You will need to apply and be accepted by one of these volunteer organizations and the Campus Ministry Summer of Service Program. However, to apply to the Summer of Service Program you only need to have begun the application process with the host organization. It is not necessary to have been fully accepted with the service organization to be offered a placement in the CUA Summer of Service Program.
What is offered with these programs?
Room and Board – Many organizations provide housing at the site. You will likely be living with a group of volunteers, who all work for the same organization. Depending on the organization, you will either have your own room or share with a roommate. Normally, all meals are provided by the organization as well. Make sure and talk with each organization to fully understand what they offer.
Funding – Students will receive a stipend of $2500, half of which is awarded at the beginning of the summer, and the other half upon completion of the program. This funding is to cover flights (students will purchase their own flights) to their service locations, any incidentals such as personal hygiene, etc., as well as help students be able to support themselves during the following school year since they won’t be able to have a paid job over the summer. Please note, if the service program provides a stipend separately, will receive a maximum of $2500. For example, if your program gives you a $1500 stipend, you will receive a $1000 stipend from Campus Ministry.
How Long Will I Be There?
Service should be for about 8-10 weeks during the summer months. This is flexible depending on the program you will be serving with. Some programs start sooner than others and end in July, while others start later and end in early August. If you have questions or concerns about this, please ask.
Click below to start your application for the Summer of Service Program! Students must have experience in service to others, either formally or informally, be in good academic and community standing, and be available for eight to ten consecutive weeks during the Summer of 2023. Students must also apply directly to the service program with which they hope to volunteer.
The Summer of Service Program applications are open through February 12th, 2023. If you are selected for an interview, they will take place on February 14th or 15th, with placement offers being emailed out the following week. Upon being offered a placement, you will have five days to accept or decline.
Feel free to reach out to Harrison Hanvey, email@example.com, with any questions.
This list is not comprehensive of service programs accepting summer volunteers, however it includes many programs that CUA alumni have served with in the past and that are currently in touch with CUA Campus Ministry. If you have another program you are interested in serving with, please contact Harrison Hanvey at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss that option. Please note: You can, and are encouraged to, apply to multiple programs.
Amigos De Jesus- Macuelizo, HondurasAmigos de Jesus is a home and bilingual school in rural Honduras for 150 wonderful and loving children. The Amigos family is a sanctuary of hope, healing, and transformation, where vulnerable children and young adults thrive and discover their God-given potential. Summer volunteers at Amigos serve as camp counselors. We run an English language summer camp, where each volunteer can lead in areas of expertise (crafts, hikes, science experiments, drama, music, sports...). Volunteers live in a Catholic community, share meals and spirituality nights. In addition to running camp, volunteers have the afternoons to play with the kids and practice their Spanish! Come have fun with us this summer!
Email Julie for an application: email@example.com
Click here to visit their website
Andre House- Phoenix ArizonaAndre House provides up close and personal encounters with the chronically and transitionally homeless and poor. They provide transitional housing, dinner six nights a week with an average of 600 meals/night, showers, bathrooms, phone use, and clothing to those in need. The student volunteers assist with all the functions of the organization, working in solidarity with the guests, staff, and other volunteers to provide a safe, supportive community of service.
Contact Julia Blois at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to visit their website
Annunciation House- El Paso, Texas
Annunciation House provides shelter to economically poor immigrants and refugees at several houses of hospitality in El Paso. Annunciation House volunteers live and work at the houses of hospitality, and are responsible for the operation of the houses, attending to the needs of the guests, coordinating meals, picking up food donations, assigning chores, helping guests make travel arrangements, doing laundry, and all other things necessary to maintaining the guests.
Applications can be found here.
Bethlehem Farm- Summers County, WV
Bethlehem Farm helps with housing and other projects in rural West Virginia. Volunteers live in intentional simplicity, where they pray together and work together daily. Summer volunteers help the full time staff with daily chores and activities, and they also lead high school and other short-term volunteer groups that visit for 1-2 weeks.
To apply to Bethlehem Farm, please fill out the Summer Servant application here. The application priority deadline is January 31, but applications are accepted on a rolling basis after that date as well.
Casa Juan Diego- Houston, TX
Casa Juan Diego is a Catholic Worker house of hospitality, providing shelter and services for immigrant men, women, and children that are coming from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Summer volunteers live in community with the long-term volunteers and the immigrant guests in one of the men's or women's houses. Volunteers spend their time supporting the immigrants and various ministries of Casa Juan Diego: child care, tutoring, English classes, transporting guests to appointments, organizing donations, etc. Conversational Spanish is useful although not required.
Students interested in applying should contact founder and director Louise Zwick at email@example.com.
Center for FaithJustice- New Jersey
Center for FaithJustice engages volunteers with communities through service and social justice activities. Summer volunteers as part of LeaderworX help lead middle school and high school groups through service retreat weeks, and also participate in leadership formation workshops as a group.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and can be found here.
Christian Appalachian Project (CAP)- East Kentucky
Christian Appalachian Project provides support to the residents of rural Eastern Kentucky through housing projects, elderly services, and summer camps for children. CAP volunteers live in one of two houses in the area with other long term volunteers. Summer volunteers can either help with one of two summer camps, or they may be placed with groups helping with construction and housing projects or working with the elderly.
All applications can be found here.
Farm of the Child- Trujillo, Honduras
The Farm of the Child is a mission on the northern coast of Honduras that educates, protects, and promotes healing and spiritual formation for vulnerable children and families in the local community. Summer missionaries here jump right in to the action! Responsibilities include teaching in the school, facilitating the after-school program, and organizing recreational activities according to the skills and talents of the missionary. They engage fully in community life including house chores, cooking meals, community night, and excursions. Conversational Spanish required.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and can be found here.
Haley House- Boston, MA
Haley House uses food with purpose and the power of community to break down barriers between people, empower individuals, and strengthen neighborhoods. Haley House believes in radical solutions; solving problems at their root by challenging attitudes that perpetuate suffering. Rooted in the spirit of the Catholic Worker, Haley House is an intentional community connected to a soup kitchen in Boston's historic South End neighborhood. Summer residents at Haley House have the unique opportunity to live in community with a diverse range of individuals from many different walks of life. Summer residents spend their days working to prepare meals for and build community with individuals experiencing homelessness in our soup kitchen. We provide hot food, coffee, clothing, and other support as needed to our guests. Residents may also have the opportunity to work in secondary placements at our community garden and urban farm.
Students interested in the summer residency program or the live-in community should email Libby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jerusalem Farm- Kansas City, MO
Jerusalem Farm provides home repair for the Kansas City community, as well as hosts retreat and volunteer groups from around the country. Summer volunteers are part of the Sojourner Program and help with daily tasks around the farm and help organize and lead service retreat groups.
More information on how to apply can be found here.
L'Arche- Washington, DC and Arlington Virginia
L'Arche is a community of adults with and without developmental disabilities. There are four houses between Washington, DC and Arlington, VA. Summer volunteers act as assistant interns and assist the core members with their daily living as well as plan fun activities.
Applications can be found here.
Maggie's Place- Phoenix, Arizona
Maggie's Place provides houses of hospitality and ongoing support to help pregnant and parenting women in need reach their goals, and welcomes them into a community filled with love and dignity. Volunteers serve as live-in support staff and offer nonjudgemental support and create intentional community.
Applications can be found here.
Catholic Volunteer Network- Opportunities Across the US
With over 185 different programs in the Catholic Volunteer Network community – you have a wide variety of service opportunities to choose from. Their online database can help you sort through programs based on the criteria that is most important to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I go alone?As students are in charge of finding a program and being accepted to that program for the summer, there is no guarantee that you will be going to a site along with another CUA student. However, you will be working and living with other volunteers at your service organization. Each site is different, but there will probably be between 4 and 10 volunteers there in total. You’ll be living in a community, so you’ll get a great chance to meet some other amazing volunteers and staff!
Where will I live?At least for the service programs listed above, all housing is at or near the service site. Students will live in community with other long-term volunteers and/or other summer volunteers. Many of these volunteers are currently in college, or recently graduated. This may be different for other service programs so please check with the program you are applying to.
Do I have to pay for housing and meals?All housing and meals should be provided to you by the service organization, but you may be required to do some cooking! Again, this may be different for other service programs.
Is it safe?You will be prepared as much as possible by the Campus Ministry staff before you depart for your summer of service, and you will receive an orientation upon arrival to your site. The sites listed above have hosted CUA alumni and students in the past, and the Campus Ministry staff have spoken with them already. However, other service programs that you find through Catholic Volunteer Network or other means should also be safe. The sites have strong relationships with the communities they work in, and are able to advise students regarding appropriate safety precautions. If students have concerns, they can speak with their site supervisors, and if need be, may contact the CUA Campus Ministry Office. There will be a CUA Campus Minister on-call all summer in case of emergency.
What about COVID-19?The Campus Ministry office is taking into account the fact that we are still having to take additional precautions due to COVID-19 at this time. Each program that is accepting volunteers is doing so in a safe way that protects the volunteers, staff, and community members. Of course this is always still a risk when you are around other people. Most programs have a section of their website explaining how they are handling COVID-19 with regard to volunteers. When applying to programs, please discuss their COVID protocols and make sure you are comfortable with them.
Will I be able to leave during the 10 weeks that I'm volunteering?Probably not. Participating in the summer of service program means you are committing to being fully present during the time you are there, in order to gain the most possible from the experience. You’re encouraged to schedule family vacations or other events before or after your 10 weeks of service, if time allows. There may be some exceptions, so if you have a question, please speak with the volunteer organizations you are applying to.
I'm not Catholic and I'm not very religious, can I still apply?Absolutely! Students from all faith backgrounds, as well as students who aren’t religious are encouraged to apply. This program is about building relationships with those who are affected by inequalities here in the US and abroad. All of our partner organizations are faith based, and you may be required to attend religious services and participate in spiritual activities, but you are not required to be Catholic or religious to participate.
Will I be able to see my family over the summer?There will be several weeks before and after your weeks of service that you can be home with you family. Depending on the site you’re working at, the organization may allow your family to come visit you as well! Of course, some sites have changing work schedules, so you may be working some nights or weekends. Each site is different. Feel free to chat with your service site to see if they welcome visits by your family or friends.
What about the stipend?Students will receive a stipend of $2500. From these funds, you will have to purchase your own plane tickets (so do that early!), as well as any incidentals (personal hygiene, clothing, etc.). While at your site, you won’t be paying for housing or meals, so a bulk of the stipend you’ll be able to save to support yourself during the upcoming school year. We know you won’t be working at a paid job over the summer, so we want to make sure you can still support yourself, pay for books, etc. A portion of this stipend will be given to students in the Spring, and another portion will be given upon completion of the program.
*Students who receive a stipend from their volunteer program will not receive the complete $2500 stipend from the Office of Campus Ministry. For example, if the program you volunteer with gives you a $1000 stipend for working there during the summer, the Office of Campus Ministry will award you a $1500 stipend. Since finances are main factor that limits the number of participants in this program, any money saved will help to allow more students to participate in the future.
If you have any questions about the stipends, please speak with Harrison Hanvey, email@example.com.
I'm studying abroad this semester, can I still apply?Certainly! If you are selected for an interview, it may be done over Zoom..
What is the application process?You will need to apply to both the Campus Ministry Summer of Service Program as well as the actual service program you hope to volunteer with, and both application processes will include an application and interview. To be eligible for the $2,500 stipend, you will need to be accepted to both the Campus Ministry Summer of Service Program and the volunteer program. Students can still be applying to service programs while going through the application and interview process for the Campus Ministry Summer of Service Program. You do not have to be accepted by a service program yet to continue this process. However, if you are eventually not accepted by the service program(s) you are applying to, you will not be eligible for the Summer of Service Program and will not be eligible for the stipend.