Community Engagement

Enhance your studies with community engagement

“The call to serve takes many forms in the life of a compassionate heart.”
— Maryanne Radmacher

The Office of Community Engagement promotes and facilitates service as an integral part of USJ’s teaching and learning experience and offers a variety of service opportunities throughout the academic year.

Participation in community engagement is one way to live the mission of USJ. Outreach opportunities include but aren’t limited to: working with children or the elderly, tutoring, mentoring, working in a soup kitchen or food pantry, organizing food drives, and meeting the needs of other vulnerable populations.

Academic Service Community Engagement


Our goal is to fully engage students in the USJ experience and create interconnectedness between curricular and co-curricular service-learning opportunities. This allows for the application of classroom learning to further student success in the classroom and after graduation.

Academic Service Programs

The Wellness Center on Church Street

Through this partnership with the Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry (via St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in downtown Hartford), USJ students provide services to the underserved population, including:

  • Blood pressure and glucose screenings,
  • Health and nutrition education and referrals

See how USJ students engage with the Wellness Center.

Wellness Center Outreach Programs

  • Mercy Housing and Shelter: Friendship Center serving breakfast and lunch to anyone in need
  • Manna Community Meals: Offers a noon meal and support services, and Manna Assistance & Advocacy provides food and support services to people in need
  • The Sandwich Ministry: Offers sandwiches & fellowship to people in need
  • The Malta House of Care: A mobile health clinic offering free primary health care to the uninsured population
  • The Malta House of Care/St. Justin’s Food Pantry: Enhances the health and well-being of those served by the pantry

Community Engagement Programs

Annual Engagement Events & Opportunities

  • Mercy Week & Mercy Day of Service — Each September, USJ celebrates its Mercy roots with a week-long celebration of service and a day devoted to service at local non-profit organizations.

Ongoing Engagement Opportunities

  • Saint Mary Home Light Keepers — Student volunteers spend an hour each week with an elderly resident in neighboring Saint Mary’s Home
  • Catholic Worker House – Offering after school and Saturday activities for neighborhood children.
  • Food share – Providing food to local agencies dealing with food insecurity issues.
  • Hands On Hartford Backpack program – Providing weekend food for Hartford school children.
  • Tutoring opportunities for students in local elementary schools.

Community Service

  • Volunteering – Support the USJ community through community service with the Office of Faith and Service. Request volunteer support or become a community volunteer here.
  • USJ Collaborative Agencies – See the full list of collaborative agencies affiliated with USJ.


  • Gain professional experience
  • Promote personal growth
  • Develop a sense of social responsibility
  • Increase networking opportunities
  • Put academic learning into action
  • Make an impact in your local community
  • Have fun!

Why Community Engagement Matters

Service is personal, but here are our “top 10” reasons:

  1. Use your gifts and talents
  2. Learn to value
  3. Put your faith into action for the common good
  4. Build positive relationships with peers and adults
  5. Become aware of community needs and issues
  6. Apply academic knowledge and skills
  7. Develop leadership and social skills
  8. Explore career options
  9. Have fun
  10. Make a difference in someone’s life!

Take the Next Step

Come and tour our beautiful campus, learn more about our programs and discover firsthand what makes our University so unique!

Contact Us