Civic Engagement

group photo
Students participate in Civic Engagement retreat

Civic Engagement 

Built upon the foundations of Wellesley’s motto, Non Ministrari Sed Ministrare, Civic Engagement explores the role of social justice work across all majors and career fields. The Civic Engagement program works to prepare Wellesley graduates to make a difference in the world. We offer opportunities to engage in sustained, collaborative, reflective, and meaningful ways that enrich a liberal arts education. 

Explore Ways to Get Involved

The 2020 - 2021 academic year has been unlike any other. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink our work within Civic Engagement in every way imaginable. While showing up for our communities has rarely seemed so important, it has also never been harder. Civic Engagement was built on a foundation of being present, and Covid-19 chipped away at that very foundation. Alternative Breaks, daily trips off-campus to volunteer, and large gatherings like blood drives required us to think about health and safety in news ways. While our work looks very different than it did prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the core of that work — our commitments to the communities we partner with — remains the same. 

We have also taken time over the last year to reflect and try new things.  Civic Engagement is shifting to a new model to engage more students than we ever have before. We are launching a community immersion experience designed just for Sophomores, an expanded peer leadership network through Ministrare Council, and pausing the Presidential Scholars civic leadership community for rising juniors. We hope, in time, this model will let us reach every Wellesley student who wants to participate in Civic Engagement before they graduate.


The Sophomore Experience

The Sophomore Experience is the first immersive step students can take to get involved with Civic Engagement. The Sophomore Experience aims to provide an opportunity for every Wellesley sophomore who chooses to participate, a community immersion experience to explore civic engagement with their Wellesley sibs. The Sophomore Experience program provides an opportunity for Wellesley students to define their purpose in the world and the skills to and knowledge to make a difference. We believe every Wellesley student has a responsibility for positive social change. Through a reflective peer led model, sophomores will actively engage through weekly volunteer programs or alternative breaks, to learn about the ways in which they can work for positive social change in their world.  he program will support sophomores in beginning to consider what skills are needed to be active listeners, effective advocates, critical thinkers, and empathic citizens.

To get involved, complete this interest form.  



Presidential Scholars civic leadership community (for rising juniors)

The Presidential Scholars program is currently not running for the 2021–22 academic year. The Presidential Scholars program is an opportunity for Wellesley students, starting in their junior and continuing through their senior year, to focus intensively on civic engagement. Through a reflective co-curricular model that brings together academics and community engagement, Presidential Scholars will actively engage with communities beyond Wellesley’s campus through internships and volunteer opportunities to develop a civic lens, forming authentic relationships within their cohort and community in the process. Scholars will develop critical skills in social change work, active listening, effective advocacy, critical thinking, and empathic citizenship. Systemic social change is the work of a lifetime and requires long term commitment to dismantling systems of oppression. 



Ministrare Council

The Ministrare Council leads Civic Engagement’s programs, working with community partners, faculty, staff, and students to help bring Wellesley’s mission and motto to life.  Ministrare Council works to build community across campus through volunteer programs and events. 

Ministrare Council is a group of civic-minded student leaders who are responsible for guiding their peers through community engaged work. Ministrare Council is led by six Fellows, each with a specialized focus area. The remainder of the Council is composed of Coordinators who support our student volunteers through education and reflection. 

Ministrare Council offers Wellesley students an opportunity to work closely with professional staff in community organizations to learn about community based work.

2021–2022 Ministrare Fellows

Ministrare Fellow Office Hours

A schedule of Fellow Office Hours is coming soon. Some Fellows will have Zoom links included in their contact details for a drop-in option, but you can still email first to set up a meeting if you prefer. Other fellows are appointment by email only.


The Ministrare Council organizes many aspects of Civic Engagement — you can make appointments with our Fellows (listed above) to discuss Alternative Breaks, Community Partnerships, Wellesley Partnerships, or general volunteering questions. For all other topics, including Federal Work Study opportunities, please email or schedule an appointment with Emily in Handshake.

Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

Erin Konkle
Erin Konkle

This resource offers options for staying engaged and volunteering while away from Wellesley, or virtually while on campus. We'll cover how to determine the right site for you, how to reach out to organizations about volunteering, and organizations to partner with (listed by industry or topic).

Civic Engagement Funding Guide: Federal Work Study & Grants

Erin Konkle
Erin Konkle

Civic Engagement provides a variety of funding opportunities for Wellesley College students and groups for community engagement programs and projects. This resource provides descriptions of Civic Engagement Grants, Federal Work-Study and Service, the Katharine Timerman Wright Award, and the Beha Community Engagement Grant.

“For students interested in advocacy or a cause, such as immigration or civil rights – roll up your sleeves and volunteer! Through volunteering, you will gain insight and professional contacts in your chosen field.”

Civic Engagement Training

Erin Konkle
Erin Konkle

Any student recieving resources from Civic Engagement must attend a mandatory training program before beginning their volunteer work. Trainings are offered at the beginning of every semester and include Pre-Service General Training, Working with Minors, and South Middlesex Correctional Center.