Community Service

Yale offers students a wide range of opportunities to get involved with the community. There is a strong tradition of giving back, and over the course of their time in New Haven, the majority of students volunteer in some way.

The Committee Overseeing Volunteer Service

The Committee Overseeing Volunteer Services (COVS) is the student-run umbrella organization for many volunteer services. Its purpose is to help connect students with programs that will stimulate their interest and make the best use of their time while they are at Yale.

Volunteer Opportunities

Medical students and faculty teach anatomy at Hill Regional High School to junior and senior high school students. Participants use lab facilities at the medical school twice a month. Lab activities range from observation of dissected cadavers to using the slides and microscopes in the histology laboratories.

Columbus House provides emergency shelter and transitional living for 101 men and women, including food, shower and laundry facilities.

The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen serves individuals, families and children in the greater New Haven area. It provides hot evening meals and bag lunches and maintains a food pantry that distributes bags of food one day a week and an emergency food for people in crisis. Volunteers prepare, store, stock and serve food as well as help with fundraising, advertising, deliveries and administration.

Haven Free Clinic is another popular community program. Started in 2005, the student-run clinic offers free primary care services supervised by attending physicians. Organized by students in the health professions, the clinic is run out of the Fair Haven Community Health Center (from now until January 2017 when they will move to the Yale Physician Building).  The hours are from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Visit Haven's Website to learn more.

HPREP is a nationwide high school science enrichment program aimed at recruiting African American, Native American and Latino high school students into careers in the science and health professions. Each year more than 30 New Haven high school students attend eight Saturday sessions run by Yale minority graduate and professional students. They participate in small group discussions on health topics within medicine and public health.

Neighborhood Health Project conducts workshops at neighborhood food pantries to teach participants about high blood pressure, diabetes and other heath concerns.

The Hunger and Homelessness Auction is a week-long series of events culminating in a live auction. Each year, the auction raises approximately $25,000 which benefits local non-profit organizations that work to alleviate hunger and homelessness.

Youth Science Enrichment Program introduces fourth- and fifth-grade students to the organ systems of the body through lectures and instruction using anatomical models, medical instruments and Internet resources. The goal is to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups pursuing science careers.

Volunteering: HAVEN Free Clinic

Volunteering: HAVEN Free Clinic

“Having the chance to be part of the care team for these patients—this vulnerable population—is very rewarding and just comes full circle for me.” 

~Herbert Castillo