Embracing one’s civic duties does not have to wait until school is in session. Community Partnerships offers a four-day, pre-orientation program for incoming first-years where students live and work together in the city of Yonkers—all before the first day of orientation to the college. Called the Pre-Orientation Civic Engagement (POCE) Program, the initiative lets students kickoff their time at the College with the performance of community work. Last year the students worked in two community gardens, clearing brush and organizing a lesson for youth on the environment. The group also lives communally, sleeping in the basement of a church in Yonkers. Meals are prepared together, and nightly speakers highlight various aspects of community work and life in Yonkers.
Two upperclassman student leaders provide guidance for the not-yet-minted first-year students, guiding the group through team building activities, helping them navigate the community, and offering a sneak peak at what the coming year might look like.
The program is selective for interested first-year students, with applications going out in early to mid-May and decisions being made by mid- to late-June. Interested students should consult MySLC for the program’s application and more details on the opportunity.