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

  • Community Carnival - Sunday, May 22nd

    The Union College Community Carnival will be held on May 22nd (during ReUnion weekend) from 12-3pm. It will be located on library plaza. We're bringing back a Union tradition, where over 500 kids and family members come to campus to do fun activities with Union students. It's free to the community and a great volunteer opportunity!

    Groups and individuals can sign up below BY FRIDAY, MAY 13TH.

    Group Sign-up:

    Individual Sign-up:

Annual Events

  • Community Experience Pre-Orientation

    Community Outreach offers an optional 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.

  • Holiday Dinner

    Each year Community Outreach hosts a holiday dinner for students who remain on campus during the winter break. Faculty and staff are also invited to attend.

  • 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!

  • Volunteer Appreciation Banquet

    The Volunteer Appreciation Banquet is a celebration of community partnerships. Campus members and community organizations come together to recognize efforts that have been made throughout the year to serve the local community.

  • 518 Day

    518 Day Community Celebration is an annual day of volunteering hosted by the United Way of Schenectady. Community Outreach partners with other departments on campus to support this local event and provide opportunities for volunteers to get involved on and off campus.

  • UCARE Day

    UCARE Day is Union’s annual free carnival for kids in Schenectady. Local families come to campus to enjoy free games, crafts, food, and fun!

Ongoing Programs

  • Discovery Academy

    Discovery Academy is a without walls day program offered by Schenectady ARC. Program participants come to campus to have a college experience while also receiving academic and life skills instruction. Union College volunteers can get involved in a variety of ways - sharing meals with the participants, providing academic support, teaching about a favorite skill or hobby, helping to coordinate on-campus events for the group and more.

  • Green Tech High Online Tutoring

    Green Tech High is a charter school located in Albany, NY. Union volunteers provide online tutoring and mentoring once a week to support students' academic and personal growth.

  • Junior Science Program

    Junior Science Program is a hands-on science and math program that introduces students in grades 4-6 to the wonders of science and technology. Volunteers help participants conduct small science experiments and learn about various types of technology.

  • Liberty Church Afterschool Tutoring

    Liberty Church in Schenectady hosts an afterschool program for elementary and middle school students. Volunteers meet with students weekly to help them complete homework assignments and to serve as mentors.

  • Salvation Army ESL Tutoring

    Student volunteers partner with the Salvation Army of Schenectady to assist adult Spanish speakers who are working to learn English.

  • Union STEP Tutoring

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

  • VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program

    The Kenney Community Center provides space for the Economics Department to run the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site at Union College. Representatives of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Internal Revenue Service and the Schenectady County Department of Social Services participated in the development and implementation of the program. 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