Close this search box.

West Coast Poverty Center

Getting Involved

Students will find many opportunities at the University of Washington and in the outside community for both short- and long-term volunteer service aimed at understanding and eradicating poverty. In some cases, students can also earn school credit or money for school while performing public service. For example, many students participate in service learning projects under the guidance of faculty. Interested students can start by checking out the following links: 

Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center  The Carlson Center, based at the University of Washington, coordinates service learning opportunities for UW students locally, nationally and internationally. Service learning provides students a unique opportunity to connect coursework with life experience through public service. Service learning can increase relevance of academic content by exploring related community opportunities, encourage students to challenge personal and social assumptions, values and beliefs, and develop deliberative, collaborative, and leadership skills. Current service learning coursework covers issues of global hunger, class, and race.

Americorps  AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps*VISTA are federally funded domestic Peace Corps programs that provide individuals of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to address some of the most pressing problems facing our country today. In return for providing a year of service, AmeriCorps and VISTA members receive a monthly living allowance, training opportunities, and an educational award to help finance college education or vocational training, or to pay back student loans. Many of these opportunities involve work with youth, the homeless, or the elderly in urban disadvantaged communities.

Washington Commission for National and Community ServiceThe Washington Commission for National and Community Service website offers a listing of all the Americorps and VISTA volunteer opportunities available in Washington. It also provides information about other volunteer and service opportunities in across the state. There are both rural and urban opportunities to eradicate or alleviate poverty.

One-Day Service Learning Activities – Various student groups, academic and administrative offices sponsor one-day service learning experiences throughout the year. In particular, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has become associated with service learning and volunteer opportunities sponsored by the UW.   Information on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service