Community Outreach Programs

Please note: During Spring 2020 some of our community outreach programs will be conducted online (and other programs will be temporarily postponed). Please contact to find out how you can support our online efforts.

Union students are extremely proactive about seeking volunteer opportunities as well as suggesting ideas for new programs. All programs have a student leader that manages the day-to-day logistics and recruits volunteers. For more information on how to get involved with one of our programs, email

To see other service opportunities on campus, please visit Community Service Clubs and Organizations.

After School Program

The After School Program links Union student mentors with children from local elementary schools to help them complete their homework and participate in fun activities.

*Please note, the After School Program is temporarily inactive. Please check back here for more information on when the program will resume.

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.

Empty Bowls

This community event raises awareness and funds for local food programs. With the help of a ceramics professor, Union students have made hundreds of bowls, some made jointly with local Schenectady students.

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 girls and boys and 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.


Students and staff volunteer together to recycle potted plants and other living arrangements from the college and give them to local nursing homes, senior residencies, and rehabilitation centers. The Union College community visits several communities a month to bring smiles, conversation, and plants.

UCARE (Union Community Action Reaching Everyone)

UCARE provides you with a link to volunteer opportunities in the community. UCARE also provides information about community organizations to assist you in identifying service opportunities that meet your interests. UCARE hosts an annual carnival in May that has become a well-attended and popular event for the community.

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.


X-Quest is a local organization that serves youth from early childhood up to the age of 14. Student volunteers visit Quest twice weekly to provide homework help, mentoring, and support.