Community Service

At its heart, medicine is a service profession. You are committing to making a difference in others’ lives as a physician, and there’s no reason to wait until you’ve become one to help others. Being involved in service shows commitment to your community and to society, provides an opportunity to learn about populations and social issues that may be less familiar to you, and helps you to develop important communication and interpersonal skills. Below are some examples of service activities that our students have found particularly meaningful in recent years, most through the Pace Center Student Volunteers Council. This is not an exhaustive list – if you’re interested in service and want to become involved, the advisers at the Pace Center for Civic Engagement and at HPA can help you identify initiatives that fit your interests. Contact information for student leaders is included if known – otherwise, contact


Academic Success Today: Students are matched one-on-one with at-risk local middle school students, and provide tutoring/mentoring. The program is a partnership between Princeton University (through AST) and Corner House Community Center.

Ascend Hospice: Volunteers learn about palliative care and end of life decision making in a comprehensive training program, then spend time with hospice patients and their families at local hospice facilities. Application sent out to HPA Listservs in August.

CONTACT Princeton: CONTACT Princeton is an organization that trains Princeton students to be volunteers for the local branch of the crisis and suicidal hotline. In addition to preparing to volunteer for the hotline, volunteers learn how to be a better friend and listener. There are three options for training: Thursday nights from 7-10 PM on campus, Tuesday nights from 7-10 PM in Pennington, or Tuesday mornings 9:30 AM-12:30 PM in Pennington. Volunteering is done from a phone room on campus.

Creative Minds: SVC Creative Minds is a student-led community service program that pairs volunteers one-on-one with elderly residents at the Merwick Care and Rehabilitation Center in Plainsboro, NJ. During weekly one-hour visits, volunteers and residents will bond while working on creative year-long projects that explore the resident's interests and engage different forms of media to develop meaningful long-term relationships.


ESL El Centro: ESL El Centro provides free English language classes to adult learners at a community center in Trenton. Classes run Monday through Friday, and each volunteer is expected to teach once a week for the duration of the semester. Volunteers leave from the Dillon Gym parking lot at 4:45 PM and return to campus by 7:30 PM.

HiPS: Princeton Health in Public Schools (HiPS) provides health education at Littlebrook Elementary School, in Princeton, NJ

imPACT: This tutoring group is focused on working with students at Riviera Middle School in Trenton, NJ.

Peak Potential: Assist kids with disabilities as they build confidence and motor skills through rock climbing.

Petey Greene: The Petey Greene Program supplements correctional education systems by providing individualized tutoring for incarcerated people. Princeton is home to its largest and original Petey Greene chapter; its volunteers tutor in the Albert C. Wagner and Garden State Youth Correctional Facilities, and they focus on GED-level subjects. Ultimately, we work to support academic achievement in prison classrooms in order to reduce recidivism rates and build stronger communities.

Tiger TAILS: Princeton Tiger TAILS (Tending Animals In Local Shelters) assists animals and their caretakers at SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals, a local no-kill animal shelter. Students sign up in groups of five and take a PACE Center car to the shelter, where they clean out the cat cages and give them food and water before the shelter officially opens. On Fridays, we have trips from 2-5 PM; the main job is to “socialize” the animals by playing with the cats (and occasional rabbit) and walking the dogs. On Saturdays and Sundays, trips go to the shelter from 9AM-noon, and most of the cleaning takes place during these trips. Cleaning usually only takes about an hour and a half, so you get to spend the rest of the time bonding with the animals.


PMPMC: SVC PMPMC is a weekly volunteer project at the Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center. We seek to connect students interested in volunteering in a health-care setting with the Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center's volunteer program. Volunteers apply directly with the hospital and commit to a weekly, three-hour shift.