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Community Engagement and Social Impact

Community Engagement and Social Impact programs exist at the juncture of the “head, heart, and hands” to create positive change in the world.

This programming provides an opportunity for students to make meaningful connections between classroom learning, personal beliefs, and the needs of local and global communities. Students participate in hands-on opportunities to meet immediate needs while examining larger structures that perpetuate inequity, and are challenged to think and problem-solve through the lens of equity and justice. The Emma approach to community engagement offers flexibility and choice so that each student can choose the breadth and depth of their participation.

Interested in more information about Community Engagement Opportunities? Contact:

Gemma Halfi

Gemma Halfi

Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Students in a greenhouse smiling at the camera, they're standing in front of a table of garlic which they are harvesting.

At Emma Willard School, Community Engagement and Social Impact programs exist at the juncture of the “head, heart, and hands” to create positive change in the world. These curated projects and community engagement opportunities (CEOs) take weekend activities by storm, boasting a completely full volunteer list and waitlist each week for engagement opportunities. 

A two-page magazine article titled 'A Hunger for Change' with a vector graphic of a box full of food on the bottom left.

The Spring 2023 edition of Emma Willard School’s Signature magazine focuses on aspects of academic excellence on Mount Ida, including how curated service learning projects and community engagement opportunities (CEOs) help investigate food inequities throughout the United States. 

Seven students posing with a large black horse in a stable

The Student Organization for Animal Respect (SOAR) advocates for the wellbeing of animals, while bringing awareness to the Emma community about the issues of maltreatment. SOAR organizes many events throughout the school year, from fundraising for animal rights organizations to volunteering at local animal sanctuaries. The group recently visited Little Brook Farm who thanked the group on social media saying, “We have no paid staff and a lot of stalls to clean so we're very grateful for all the help—it's both needed and appreciated!”

students cooking

As part of the Community Engagement weekend program, students cooked a meal on Superbowl Sunday for the residents of Joseph's House shelter in downtown Troy. They had a blast cooking up chili, wings, cornbread, and salad for a very grateful group of game-watching guests!

students help clean up trash in our local neighborhood park

Two CEOs (Community Engagement Opportunities) were held last weekend, cleaning up trash along Poestenkill and preparing food for guests at the local food pantry.