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Being a Part of What's Around You


I’ve been super interested in public service since high school, but then, the only projects that I could really get involved with were fundraising (mostly through washing cars and selling chocolate) and summer camp counseling.


Don’t get me wrong—I enjoyed both a lot! But when I got to Harvard, I was really excited to see just how easy it is to get involved with service projects on and off campus, and just how extensive those opportunities are. The Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) is the organization here on campus that spearheads much of the community programming and service that Harvard students do, and it really serves as one of our most substantial connections to the surrounding area. It has its own building in Harvard Yard, the heart of campus, and many of our service groups even hold their meetings there.


But what makes PBHA so great is its amazing network of organizations, including, but not certainly not limited to:

Y2YY2Y (Youth to Youth) is a youth homeless shelter in Cambridge that serves the needs of the homeless young people in the surrounding area; I actually found out about Y2Y in the second semester of my freshman year, and decided to volunteer with them. Because I wanted to be able to get to know the guests within the space a bit more, I became a case manager for the shelter, and I can say that it has been one of the best parts of my experience here on campus.

Summer Urban Program—during the summer, current college students work to design their own scholastic curriculum to better serve young students in the surrounding area (elementary school to late middle school), and to prevent the academic loss that happens during the summer (between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next). A lot of my friends were teachers for SUP, and they absolutely loved it.

Public service doesn’t always have to look like world peace or huge international humanitarian efforts (though both of those things are absolutely amazing). Public service can be what you do to effect change in your immediate area, no matter where you end up.

So go out and give back!


About the author

Hello! My name is Juliana Lamy, I am a sophomore in Dunster House, and I plan on concentrating in History & Literature with a Secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. I’m originally from... View full profile

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