BSLCE service sites provide students with the opportunity to interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds – including race, gender, nationality, age, socio-economic, religion, (dis)ability and sexual orientation. Students have the opportunity to develop interpersonal competencies such as communication, leadership and management skills in real-world situations. Below, please find descriptions of service-learning programs. For a full list of program days and times for Spring 2021, please click here.
Through the A Step Ahead program, Bentley University students foster strong relationships with middle school students to stress the importance of an education in today’s world. Through weekly sessions, Bentley students work within small groups of 6th-, 7th-, and 8th- graders at McDevitt Middle School to enhance their academic skills and provide them with pivotal academic support. Tutors assist with the educational progression of the students. As mentors, they promote constructive character development and individual growth.
America Clicks! aims to improve technology literacy among Waltham youth. Through the program, Bentley students work to develop advanced IT opportunities for elementary school students, middle school students, and high school students. In Spring 2021, Bentley students participating in America Clicks! will work with partner organizations to design and facilitate workshops that advance community members’ knowledge and skill relating to specific technology platforms, such as Zoom, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
America Clicks! aims to improve technology literacy among Waltham youth. Waltham boasts a diverse community, and many of its young people speak Spanish as a first language. Through this program, Bentley students work to develop advanced IT opportunities for elementary school students, middle school students, and high school students. In Spring 2021, Bentley students participating in America Clicks! will work with partner organizations to design and facilitate workshops that advance community members’ knowledge and skill relating to specific technology platforms, such as Zoom, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. In order to remove a language barrier for community members, these workshops would be entirely in Spanish.
Brookhaven at Lexington is a life-care living facility for seniors. Residents are retired, and live independently, or in assisted-living accommodations on site. Through the Cyber Coaches program, Bentley students will design and facilitate workshops that advance residents’ knowledge and skill relating to specific technology platforms, such as Zoom, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
In existence for over twenty years, Chesterbrook Learning Center is located in one of Waltham’s family oriented public housing developments. Typically, when children–from six-year-olds to fourteen-year-olds–returned from school each day, they found Bentley students on-site to tutor and mentor them. In the absence of daily in-person programming, however, the Afterschool Program will provide children with one-on-one tutoring once per week. By developing strong relationships with the Bentley mentors, children are empowered to meet (and exceed) their academic goals and develop into well-rounded, socially responsible individuals.
In 2014, Bentley University and Brandeis University collaborated to open a community center in one of Waltham’s public housing developments. Since then, for five days each week during the academic year, students from both schools manage an afterschool enrichment program for children between the ages of six and thirteen. Traditionally, the college mentors assist the children with homework and academic activities. In the absence of daily in-person programming, however, the Afterschool Program will provide children with tutoring and structured activities over Zoom. By developing strong relationships with the Bentley mentors, children are empowered to meet (and exceed) their academic goals and develop into well-rounded, socially responsible individuals.
The Watertown Boys & Girls Club connects Bentley students with local youth through afterschool programming. At the Club, Bentley students equip members to succeed academically. Serving as tutors and mentors for elementary school students, middle school students, and high school students, Bentley students help Watertown youth to unlock their academic potential.
Waltham boasts a diverse population, and many of its youth speak something other than English as a first language. Through this program, Bentley students support 4th-grade students at the Whittemore Elementary School as they aim to read at a proficient level. Bentley participants will serve as mentors and academic coaches the Whittemore students, who may face various barriers to learning.
Through the ELL program, Bentley students facilitate learning in five Waltham elementary schools while working one-on-one, or in small groups, with children in kindergarten through fifth grade who are struggling with English language by assisting with schoolwork, making real-life connections, and building their mentees’ self-confidence. Many of these children are from immigrant families, are new or newer to the area, and need support to achieve personal and academic success. In this program, Bentley students act as coaches—they not only provide academic support for specific assignments, but also teach strategies for students to solve problems as they advance in their academic journeys.
Pax Populi is an online English Language Tutoring Program developed by a Bentley professor. Through one-on-one coaching, Bentley students assist students in Afghanistan with their English language skills. By engaging in conversational English classes through online conferencing, students are able to invest in the academic development of their partners. Bentley students virtually meet with Afghani students at night once per week. Students will attend once per week on the same day Monday through Friday. Times vary through the morning and night.
The Waltham Family School (WFS) empowers English Language Learner families to be literate, self-sufficient, and connected to the Greater Waltham community. Bentley students participate in WFS programming as tutors, and they often find that the connections developed with program participants help them to better understand the immigrant experience in Waltham. The tutors work with parents, both in one-on-one and large group settings, to help them develop computer skills and improve their English language skills.
This program, designed for Bentley students taking Spanish courses at the 200 level or above, provides college students with the opportunity to meet with native Spanish speakers in a reciprocal language exchange program. Participants spend half of their time speaking in Spanish and half in English, discussing a wide variety of culturally relevant topics. Through this program, Bentley students develop Spanish language skills, and parents of Whittemore Elementary School students develop English language skills.
Career Success Institute (CSI) is a program designed to prepare high school students to apply for, secure and succeed in summer internship experiences. Run in conjunction with the Waltham Partnership for Youth, this program provides Bentley students with the opportunity to review résumés and cover letters, prepare high school students for interviews, conduct mock interviews and prepare students to succeed at their internship sites. By facilitating workshops and engaging in one-on-one coaching sessions, Bentley students lend technical expertise to high school students who are taking the first step in their career journeys.
Brookhaven at Lexington is a life-care living facility for seniors. Residents are retired, and live independently, or in assisted-living accommodations on site. Through the French at Brookhaven program, Bentley students and Brookhaven residents meet weekly to have conversations in the French language. Through this dialogue, intergenerational connections are fostered, perspectives are shared, and language skills are refined.
The mission of the Leland Home program is to provide weekly companionship and activities to the residents of Leland Home, an assisted living facility for economically disadvantaged elders. In this program, Bentley students organize creative games and activities that prompt conversations about the residents’ lives, families, and backgrounds. This program is both individual- and group-based. This program facilitates unique intergenerational connections through which both residents and Bentley students benefit.
Opportunities for Inclusion provides services for children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, utilizing a personal planning approach. Through this program, Bentley students commit to equipping Opportunities for Inclusion participants meet their life goals by fostering meaningful relationships with them. Bentley students develop patience, understanding, and interpersonal communication skills while working with these individuals. Through the Opportunities for Inclusion program, Bentley students may assist with structured day programming or engage in student-designed activities.