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The MIT Community Service Fund
was started by the faculty about
forty-five years ago in 1968.
The idea was a very general one
that anyone from the MIT
community who chose to
volunteer would have the
opportunity to apply to this fund
for some financial support in
order to further the work of
those agencies and organizations
that already exist or to begin a
project that a student, faculty
member or staff member might
have had.
Community centers in general
rely heavily on volunteers to
get all our work done. There is
no way we can afford all the
labor we need to do all the
programs that we do. We are
incredibly lucky to have a
resource like MIT as a literal
neighbor right next-door with
just hundreds, thousands of
talented people who want to
give something back to the
community.
I'm really amazed by how much
effort students put into volun-
teering. I have students come in
here on a regular basis because
I am an advisor, and when they
tell me what they're up to I am
often times really kind of blown
away because they're spending a
ton of time volunteering. Which,
given how busy they are already
is really pretty amazing.
What the Community Service Fund
really does is it enables the
energy that students already have
to actually come to fruition in
terms of volunteer activities.
Its a very important part of what
MIT has to offer to the greater
community and is probably one of
the most efficient ways to
leverage the talent and the
energy that our students have.
I like teaching and I wanted to
help out in the community.
ReachOut is a program where
students from MIT come to the
Cambridge Community Center for
an hour after school, twice a
week and work with a local
elementary school student on
reading, language arts, writing
and playing outside sometimes too.
Many of these students come up
with very creative ideas to
further their interest in
community service. The fund also
provides a way in which under-
graduates as well as graduate
students can bond with one-
another and to provide for the
young people new and exciting
ways to think about school,
about work and about careers.
Amphibious Achievement is a duel
athletic and academic mentorship
program. So what that means is
on Sundays we do rowing and
swimming in the morning and we
go and tradition to the academic
classroom. The goal of Amphibious
Achievement is to promote success
in and out of the water and also
in the program, what we're doing
is we're cultivating a classroom
and a boathouse and a pool all of
achievement. It's all about
building confidence and determi-
nation and skills. And most
importantly we're having fun.
Every Sunday its a super positive
environment. Everyone's clapping
and snapping and appreciating
the things that are around us.
You'd be amazed how many young,
Cambridge kids don't think they
could go to MIT and by getting
to know an MIT student, by
working with that person over a
lengthy amount of time suddenly
that possibility opens up for
them and the children and their
parents are amazingly grateful
for that kind of access.
I know a lot of us would like to
do volunteering and some of us
feel that this is not a good time
when we could do that, we're
super busy with other things,
but one of the things we can do
is to support those in our
community who are finding the
time to get out there. And by
giving a small contribution we
can all make a really big
difference.