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.

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

  • Become an ESL Tutor

    SIGN UP HERE to become an ESL tutor and help adult learners improve their English language skills.

    Tutoring takes place at the Salvation Army on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:45 PM- 5:45 PM (this includes travel time). Bus picks up and drops off at the Kenney Center. Attendance is expected each week.

Annual Events

  • Community Experience Pre-Orientation

    The Kenney Community Center 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 the Kenney Community Center hosts Union students for a holiday potluck. All food is prepared or donated by Union College faculty and staff.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Youth Event

    On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day local middle and high school students are invited to campus for a day of activities including a workshop, Union’s annual Unity March, and a Q & A session with Union College students.

  • 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 include visiting a local nursing home to play BINGO, delivering candy bars to City Mission, and a free raffle for students and staff.

  • 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.

  • UCARE Day

    UCARE Day is Union’s annual free carnival for kids in the local community. The carnival is held at the Memorial Fieldhouse every spring. There are 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 Union College Campus to have a college life experience while also receiving both academic and life skills instruction. Union College student volunteers participate in a variety of ways including having lunch with the participants on campus, providing academic support, or helping to coordinate on-campus workshops for the group.

  • Girls Inc.

    Schenectady Girls Inc. offers after school programming to local students in grades K-12. Student volunteers visit Girls Inc. twice weekly to serve as tutors and mentors.

  • 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

    Student volunteers visit Liberty Church once a week to help elementary and middle school students complete homework assignments and to serve as mentors.

  • Salvation Army ESL Tutoring

    Student volunteers visit the Salvation Army twice weekly to assist adult Spanish speakers who are working to learn English.

  • 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 leave a voicemail at (518) 388-6652, and your call will be returned. Kenney Center Staff are unable to help with VITA inquiries.