Community Outreach

Our Mission

Kenney Community Center offers volunteer opportunities to connect Union students with local partners in Schenectady, enabling them to serve the community while gaining awareness of local issues and building leadership skills.

See our Goals and Objectives.

What We Do

  • Serve as a liaison between the Union College community and Schenectady schools/organizations
  • Plan one-time activities and ongoing programs, allowing student volunteers to get involved at varying levels of commitment
  • Host annual service events on and off campus
  • Lead Community Experience Pre-Orientation for incoming First Year students, introducing them to Schenectady through community service
  • Collaborate with Union student clubs and organizations involved in community outreach
Union College student volunteers

Want to Volunteer?

Upcoming Events

MoonBee - Wednesday, January 18th

Help keep girls in school! The MoonCatcher Project makes reusable, washable menstrual management kits - "MoonCatcher Kits" - which are distributed locally and globally to remove menstrual-related barriers to education.

Join us for a MoonBee to assemble kits on Wednesday, January 18th from 3:00 - 5:00 PM.

Space is limited. Sign up here!

Annual Events

  • Community Experience Pre-Orientation

    Community Outreach offers a community service themed Pre-Orientation Experience for incoming students. Learn more.

  • John Calvin Toll Day of Service

    John Calvin Toll Day is Union’s annual day of service. Every fall hundreds of students volunteer at local sites. This is the single biggest day of volunteering at Union College.

  • MLK, Jr. Day Service Event

    Community Outreach chooses a service project each year to benefit the local community and honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Random Acts of Kindness Week

    During Random Acts of Kindness week student volunteers organize a wide variety of efforts to spread kindness on campus and in the surrounding community. Activities vary from year to year but often include writing thank you cards, posting positive messages around campus, delivering candy bars to City Mission, a free raffle for students, and much more!

  • Community Carnival

    Community Outreach hosts a free annual Community Carnival for local kids and families in Schenectady. Hundreds of community members come to campus to enjoy free games, crafts, food, and fun!

Ongoing Programs

  • Discovery Academy

    Discovery Academy is a program run by Schenectady ARC that takes place on Union College campus. Young adults with developmental disabilities come to Union to have a college life experience.

    Students, clubs, and organizations volunteer in a variety of ways - socializing and sharing meals, conducting brief lessons or activities, inviting the group to participate in campus events, and more.

  • ESL Tutoring

    The Kenney Community Center partners with the Salvation Army in Schenectady to match Union ESL tutors with adult English language learners. Volunteers with varying levels of Spanish skills help to tutor on a weekly basis.

  • Feed Albany

    Feed Albany is a local organization that distributes food to people in need in the Capital Region. Union students, faculty and staff help to hand out meals each week in Schenectady.

  • Help Yourself

    This afterschool STEM program takes place at Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Schenectady. Volunteers offer mentoring and support to students in grades 3-5 twice a week.

  • Junior Science

    Junior Science is a hands-on STEM program for students in elementary school. Student volunteers plan and teach a variety of experiments to help kids learn about science and technology.

  • Pen Pals

    Union students are paired with elementary students from Zoller School in Schenectady. Pen pals write weekly emails to one another, and in-person pen pal visits are planned once or twice a year.

  • Union STEP Tutoring

    The Union Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) provides tutoring and mentoring to middle and high school students in the Schenectady City School District. In-person and online tutoring options are available.

  • VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)

    The Kenney Community Center provides space for the Economics Department to run the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site at Union College. Student VITA volunteers work directly with low-income families to assist in filing their tax returns.

    For information about the VITA program, please contact (518) 388-6652 or