What is the John J. Binienda Center for Civic Engagement?
At The Honorable John J. Binienda Center for Civic Engagement, we connect you with volunteer and other experiential learning opportunities offered by an assortment of community partners. These are win-win-win programs—providing valuable services to recipients, expanding the capabilities of our partners, and helping you to build a strong foundation in civic participation while honing your skills. We also collaborate with campus offices, student organizations, and community groups to host programs related to timely civic events.
We provide internships and volunteer opportunities to help Worcester State meet the challenge established by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education to provide meaningful civic education and engagement to our students. Our commitment enabled Worcester State to earn the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching in 2015 and be named a member of NASPA’s Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement.
Learn about our student voting rates, community partners, and more at the homepage for the John J. Binienda Center for Civic Engagement.
Service Learning Opportunities
Pre-K & K-12 education
Get involved with this AmeriCorps program that inspires corps members in honoring core values by working in service of children. This program offers a $1,200 scholarship, a certification from the Massachusetts Board of Elementary Education, and hours of fun with local children in need of literacy support. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or the Binienda Center (email@example.com).
Participate in this Worcester Public Schools’ college readiness program for elementary through high-school students by being a tutor.
College Success Institute
Work with juniors and seniors at South High School in Worcester. CSI takes place in Worcester State’s Sullivan Academic Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:30 – 4pm. The Binienda Center has staff for the program, but is always looking for volunteers to design special programs and workshops.
Paid Teacher’s Aides
Assist Worcester Center for Crafts instructors to provide a great learning experience for students ages 7-17 who are enrolled various craft classes. These classes take place in the evenings, starting at 4pm.
Behavioral Concepts, Inc. Internship
Work with autistic youth in this year-long internship.
Clemente Course Family Support Project
Provide family support for adults going back to school with the Clemente Course at the Worcester Art Museum on Tuesday and Thursdays 6:30 – 8pm.
Career Planning Events
Join the Career Services Office to host career-planning programs such as the Worcester Chapter of The Society of Financial Service Professionals Panel Discussion and Networking Event.
Robert F. Kennedy Fellows Program
Grow and become a leader within RFK Children’s Action Corps, which offers a diverse range of programs and services to help children address the challenges they face as a result of living in unstable, dangerous, or abusive environments. This employee recruitment strategy belongs to the Robert R. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps in Lancaster that provided paid internships, course credits, and full-time employment upon graduation to Worcester State students. For more information, contact the Binienda Center (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Hector Reyes House Programs
Help Reyes House residents with language and life skills, financial literacy, and employment support. A model of residential substance abuse treatment located in Worcester’s Kelly Square, Reyes House programs provide support services for 25 Latino men who are receiving in-house medical treatment along with intensive cognitive behavior therapy.
Commit to civic engagement and creating volunteer and engagement opportunities. Last year’s accomplishments include helping with an international Thanksgiving for international students, participating in the Working for Worcester Service Day, and assisting with Spree Day at May Street School.
Worcester State Civic Scholars
Get involved in service projects in the Worcester community and get the chance to spend 10 days on a service-learning trip to a Caribbean or Latin American country. If you are a good event planner, help organize Make a Difference Day, Earth Day, and the MLK Jr. Day of Service with Habitat for Humanity. Sophomore ALANA students are encouraged to participate in volunteer and civic projects such as working with the city’s youth recreation program called Recreation Worcester. This program is open to all students. Qualified applicants are awarded a scholarship for their service.
Manna Project International Program
Take this Alternative Spring Break trip to work with clients of the nonprofit organization Manna Project International in Managua, Nicaragua.
Volunteer & get nominated for an award!
Binienda Services Award Nominations
At the annual Celebration of Service, we recognize outstanding student service with the John J. Binienda Public Service Award, given in memory of Worcester State alumnus and longtime 17th Worcester District State Representative John J. Binienda, ’70, D.P.A., who had a career devoted to public administration and civic engagement.
Based on faculty, staff, and greater Worcester community nominations, this $1,000 award is bestowed on a junior who:
- Has demonstrated a commitment to public administration and service by showing qualities of personal and social responsibility in community activism—on and off campus—and in civic knowledge and learning—locally and/or globally
- Is a full-time student
- Has a minimum GPA of 2.7
Nominated students will be asked to submit an essay that defines their experiences, goals, foundations, and skills for lifelong learning in public service. The essays will be reviewed by the Center’s advisory board. The monetary portion of the award ($1,000) will be distributed at the start of the subsequent fall semester.
Binienda Academic Achievement Award
While a state representative, Binienda co-sponsored a bill to increase services for children with hearing impairment and it was signed in to law in 2012.
In his honor, a $1,000 Academic Achievement Award is given annually to a communication sciences and disorder (CSD) major.
To be eligible for this award, CSD majors must have:
- A minimum GPA of 3.5
- Will be enrolling in Worcester State’s speech-language pathology master’s degree program
- Program focus will be on understanding the challenges facing children with hearing loss
The certificate is presented at the annual Academic Achievement Awards ceremony; the monetary portion of the award is distributed at the beginning of the subsequent fall semester once the recipient starts the speech-language pathology program.