Explore what it means to be a thoughtful and active member of a community. F&M’s Ware
Institute for Civic Engagement connects F&M students with opportunities to learn,
serve, and work in the surrounding Lancaster community.
A Deeper Sense of Meaning and Purpose
We are proud of our unbreakable ties with the Lancaster community and offer our students
a variety of opportunities to engage with this vibrant city. The Ware Institute partners
with 100+ community benefit organizations, government agencies, and schools to create meaningful
off-campus opportunities for students, staff, and faculty.
At F&M’s Ware Institute for Civic Engagement, we connect you with these local organizations
and inspiring community leaders so you can engage in meaningful and purposeful activities.
By working directly with local leaders to address community challenges, you’ll develop
a deeper understanding of societal issues and make a positive impact on Lancaster
while also gaining important skills.
You can show your care for your Lancaster neighbors and contribute to local efforts.
F&M faculty, staff, and students often join together to plant trees, serve at local
food banks, maintain nearby nature trails, and do other tasks that make a difference.
Service Saturdays are pre-arranged opportunities for you to spend time learning about
different needs, issues, and interests that matter to the local community. Past Service
Saturdays found F&M students volunteering by harvesting potatoes and peppers at Wittel
Farms, cleaning up the Lancaster Conservancy, and planting trees with the Alliance
for the Chesapeake Bay.
The Ware Institute’s Alternative Breaks offer you the opportunity to spend your fall
or spring breaks learning, serving, and reflecting. Past Alternative Breaks have brought
F&M students to Richmond, Va.; Washington, D.C.; and Paradise, Ca. in partnership
with the F&M Catastrophic Relief Alliance students.
Squash Aces Mentoring
Squash Aces Mentoring partners with the neighboring School District of Lancaster to
pair an F&M student with a middle school or high school student. As an F&M student, you
support your mentee’s academic progress and facilitate group bonding activities both
on and off campus. If you’re a member of either the F&M men’s or women’s Diplomat
squash team, you can bring your mentoring on the court and coach your mentee in the
sport you love.
Young Engaged Student (YES) Guides
As a middle- or elementary-age student, your first visit to a college campus and interactions
with a college student can have a huge impact. By volunteering as a YES Guide, you’ll
play an integral role in fostering a college-going culture among this younger audience.
Public Service Summer Institute (PSSI)
The Public Service Summer Institute (PSSI) connects 12-15 rising F&M juniors and seniors
with a paid eight-week opportunity to work at a local nonprofit or government organization.
Once a week, the PSSI students come together to embark on a hands-on exploration of
a broader local community issue while meeting a variety of local stakeholders and
experts along the way.
The Public Service Summer Institute began in 1994 in response to an institutional
belief that a true liberal arts education includes making meaningful contributions
to the community. The program has evolved from focusing predominantly on the internship
experience to one that places equal value on the learning and personal development
that happens through the combination of both the collective cohort experience and
the individual internships. Students are paid by the College for the eight-week program
(housing is not included).
F&M Works in Lancaster
F&M Works in Lancaster is a selective program designed for students to explore their
understanding of personal and social responsibility. Selected students contribute
to the community by working as an intern at a local nonprofit organization, and engage
in meaningful discussions with a cohort of like-minded students about values, belonging,
community and leadership, all within the context of exploring the common good. Students
participating in F&M Works in Lancaster are paid by the College.
Community-based learning (CBL) links traditional classroom learning to real, hands-on
experiences and learning in the larger community. CBL differs from voluntarism because
students are prompted to intentionally reflect on their experiences and link their
hands-on experience with their course’s readings and lectures. These activities provide
students with experiences to test theories and ideas they learn in their course lectures
and assignments. The Ware Institute frequently partners with F&M faculty to design
a CBL course and find appropriate placements in the community for students.
Putting It Together in the Community, a first-year civic engagement program.
Public service project tracking demographics of visitors to Lancaster Central Market
in downtown Lancaster.
Helping out at the ReStore, a Habitat for Humanity storefornt for recycled home goods
and building materials.
Planting 80 trees on F&M's Baker Campus to contribute to Lancaster's greater sustainability
Touring Declaration House, a blighted property in nearby Denver, Pa., that now serves
as a nonprofit housing option for low-income residents of Lancaster County.
Volunteering to bathe and groom homeless pets at a local animal rescue shelter.
Prepping the ground for planting at Wittel Farm, an 85-acre nonprofit in Elizabethtown
that helps connect the community to sustainable agricultural practices.
Squash ACES, a program that helps local high school students build physical fitness
through the game of squash and good study habits under the mentorship of F&M student