Community & Civic Engagement
Paying it Forward
We owe a lot to the Greater Philadelphia Area for its more than 300 years of combined community support of Thomas Jefferson University. And, hey, we’ve all got individuals in our lives — teachers, mentors, relatives or friends — who have significantly impacted our lives by giving of their time to support us. There is nothing more rewarding than paying that support forward by giving back to the community and making a real difference in the lives of others.
Community service is an important part of Jefferson’s legacy. It’s who we are and what makes us stand out in the communities we serve — and we’ve got a variety of service opportunities available to our students — both in Center City and on our East Falls campus.
Learn more about the many community impact programs (PDF) Jefferson participates in and where you can truly make a difference.
Center City Campus
Each September, students are invited to “Welcome Week” on Lubert Plaza where community partners and student organizations share ways that students can get involved. We encourage you to attend this event to find out more — because Jefferson has more than 100 programs waiting for you to pay it forward!
The Department of Family and Community Medicine and the Center for Urban Health offer a variety of community outreach programs designed to provide health services to the most disadvantaged residents of Philadelphia, including refugees seeking asylum in our country (Refugee Health Partners), homeless and formerly homeless individuals (JeffHope), youth seeking emergency shelter, and those battling opioid addiction, to name a few.
A variety of community service programs are also available through our individual Colleges, so please check your particular program for additional opportunities, such as the week-long Philadelphia Science Festival, where students in many disciplines engage the community in fun and hands-on activities that demonstrate the importance of science in our everyday lives.
And don’t forget to check out our campus activities in Student Life and our area our Student Organization Directory that includes a comprehensive listing of ALL the service and community outreach programs available to you.
Jefferson in the Community
University students and volunteers help prepare meals for Philadelphia’s homeless Population.
East Falls Campus
Many of our community outreach and service activities are coordinated by the Office of Community Service Learning, which is part of the Office of Student Engagement. You can participate in blood drives, pull an all-nighter with a dance-a-thon to support the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Children’s Miracle Network, or walk an all-nighter to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. There are many community service events available to you throughout the year.
We also invite new Jefferson students to start the school year in a really meaningful way by participating in August’s Community Service PLUNGE! Then, keep the good vibes going by attending our annual Community Service Fair. There you can find out about the many volunteer opportunities available, on and off campus, like PUMP-up, a during- and after-school tutoring/mentoring program with elementary school students and youth-focused agencies. You will work with students in small group tutoring sessions to help them with mathematics and reading, or just to give them a little nudge to finish their homework. You remember those days, right?