• NYU’s Give Where You Live (GWYL) program offers students immersive service-learning experiences focused on social justice issues.
  • Beyond GWYL, NYU provides numerous avenues for community engagement.

Transitioning from a high school centered on community service to NYU, I knew I wanted to carry that spirit forward. Giving back to the community you live in, particularly if you’re not from there, has always been important to me. Now, as a cohort leader for a program with the same values, I’m excited to continue making a difference at NYU.

Empowering Engagement: Give Where You Live at NYU

Give Where You Live (GWYL) engages NYU students in service-learning, facilitating their involvement in tackling social justice issues alongside peers and faculty. Rooted firmly in education, action, and reflection, GWYL offers immersive experiences with community organizations.

Moreover, students explore new avenues of collaboration, exemplified by addressing food insecurity this semester, thereby fostering fresh connections and perspectives. This program expands horizons beyond previous service programs, offering student dynamic engagement with diverse community partners.

Nourishing Communities: Volunteering with New York Common Pantry

New York Common Pantry logo.

At the New York Common Pantry, I engaged in addressing food insecurity. Their programs target underserved families, thereby bridging gaps in traditional food assistance. Additionally, their initiatives like Choice Pantry and Hot Meals actively combat food insecurity by offering practical support.

Furthermore, fellow volunteers and I helped distribute groceries and prepare meals for vulnerable groups. This experience was fulfilling—it allowed me to realize the impact of seemingly small efforts on families. Moreover, NYU provides resources like the Violet Pantry to support students experiencing food insecurity on campus.

New York Common Pantry volunteers organizing bags of food.

Feeding Hope: Serving with Food Bank For New York City

Food Bank For New York City logo.

At the Food Bank For New York City, I continued addressing food insecurity by providing essential items to families. Moreover, schools run pantry operations, managing staffing, budgets, and distribution. Additionally, volunteers play a crucial role in packing and distributing groceries to community members in need.

Similarly, akin to my experience at the New York Common Pantry, the work at the Food Bank was fulfilling and enjoyable. Notably, it was rewarding to contribute to ensuring families have access to nutritious food. Thus, the direct involvement in addressing food insecurity underscores the importance of community support in tackling social issues.

Food Bank For New York City volunteers at an outdoor event.

Beyond GWYL: NYU’s Community Service Initiatives

In addition to Give Where You Live, NYU offers various community service options. NYU’s Project OutReach and Service and Volunteer Fair amplify community engagement, providing practical experiences and connections.

Furthermore, the MLK Day of Service encourages students to tackle social issues through various projects, fostering a culture of service and activism.

Besides NYU’s ample opportunities for service, students can extend their impact beyond campus. This multifaceted approach empowers students to make a tangible difference in communities near and far.

Molly Koch (they/them) is a senior in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study studying a combination of journalism, art history, and classical archeology. Originally from Maryland, Molly came to NYU aspiring to earn their degree in the city that never sleeps. When they are not working on campus as an Admissions Ambassador, Molly can be found working chapter-by-chapter on their novel or running down the West Side highway. They are an Opinion Editor for Washington Square News, Service Chair of NYU’s Torch Chapter, National Residence Hall Honorary and a Residential Assistant.