Civic Engagement

Students participate in Alternative Break trip with Rebuilding Macon, Spring 2017
Students participate in Alternative Break trip with Rebuilding Macon, Spring 2017

Civic Engagement 

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

Our programs include annual service opportunities on campus (including Day to Make a Difference and bi-annual Blood Drive), the Lumpkin Summer Institute for Service Learning, Alternative Breaks, and partnerships with community organizations throughout Boston and MetroWest, that offer students the opportunity to volunteer throughout the academic year. Our partner organizations have made a commitment to work with Wellesley students to help them develop the skills and knowledge needed to become change agents throughout their lives.

Highlighted Partner Organizations

South Middlesex Correctional Facility
Natick Community Organic Farm
Upward Bound
Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
Cradles to Crayons

Explore Ways to Get Involved

Single Day Service Opportunities

Civic Engagement offers Days to Make a Difference, blood drives, voting events, donation opportunities, and more. Visit our events page and filter by "Civic Engagement" to learn about upcoming service days, and explore the resources below.

Weekly Volunteering

Throughout the academic year, Civic Engagement offers opportunities to volunteer with local partner organizations throughout Boston & MetroWest.  Interested in learning more? Fill out the interest form on Handshake and a member of our Volunteer Engagement team will reach out with more information. 

Immersive Service Experiences, Fellowships, & Internships

Looking for an in-depth way to engage with the community? Civic Engagement offers Alternative Breaks as immersive experience service experiences! For even more sustained, funded civic engagement opportunities, you could also pursue service fellowships, the Lumpkin Summer Insititute for Service Learning, or the Peace and Justice Studies Summer Internship. Browse the resources below to start exploring the possibilities.

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 30 civic-minded student leaders who are responsible for guiding, planning, and implementing community engaged work. Ministrare Council is lead by six Fellows, each with a specialized focus area. The remainder of the Council is composed of Coordinators who each focus on a specific program. 

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

2019–2020 Ministrare Fellows

Reach out to our Ministrare Fellows to discuss their program areas!


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.

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.

Alternative Breaks: Frequently Asked Questions

Alexandra (“Xandra”) Stanford ’20

This resource is an overview of FAQs about Alternative Breaks, covering the topics of eligibility, structure, timing, and more.

Past Alternative Break Trips

Alexandra (“Xandra”) Stanford ’20

Alternative Breaks have taken students to New York City, New Orleans, the Florida Everglades, and more! Students have worked within these communities to address varied social issues, including (but not limited to) affordable housing, immigrant and refugee rights, environmental stewardship, animal rights, etc. Read on to learn about selected past trips!

Student Volunteer Driver Approval Process and Van Request Form

Erin Konkle
Erin Konkle

This resource provides an overview for students seeking approval to drive Wellesley College vehicles for volunteer/service purposes and contains a link to the request form to reserve a Civic Engagement van.