"The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve."
In addition to attending weekly program meetings, Ingram Scholars are required to complete at least 16 hours of durable, rigorous, and, when possible, academically-aligned service each month. Our program seeks to maximize Scholar autonomy in identifying and communicating with potential community partners, and students are encouraged to develop robust, multiannual relationships with local nonprofit organizations. As a result, Ingram Scholars engage with a wide range of critical social issues, including youth development, climate change, homelessness, criminal justice reform, wage theft, public health, and food insecurity.
Community Engagement during Covid-19
Though Scholars will return to community service in the Spring of 2021, all monthly service will be completely virtually. Any exemption to this policy must be approved in writing by the Faculty Director.
In accordance with Vanderbilt University policy and guidance of local officials, monthly service was suspended during the fall semester of 2020. In lieu of community engagement, Scholars participated in a semester-long study of service, reflecting on the intersection of their personal values, responsible service work, and their professional lives.
Though our academic year and, subsequently, service endeavors were cut short this year due to the emergence of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), our Scholars had already begun to engage their surrounding communities in incredible ways. In just under four months, 38 Ingram Scholars partnered with nearly 90 different community organizations and non-profit agencies to complete over 2,500 hours of service.