Public Service

There are many community and public service opportunities available to Harvard students through the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) and the Public Service Network (PSN). These activities are designed to:

The century-old Phillips Brooks House (PBH) in the northwest corner of Harvard Yard is home to numerous opportunities highlighted below. The House also provides staff support to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Committee on Public Service, a faculty and student committee that provides oversight of all undergraduate public service activities. Various funding opportunities, including the President’s Public Service Fund and the COOP Public Service Grants, are available to all public service groups through a competitive application process and are administered by the House.

Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA)

Gene Corbin, Executive Director Phillips Brooks House, Harvard Yard, 617-495-8851

The Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), the largest public service organization at Harvard, has been serving the Boston and Cambridge communities for over 100 years. Both a separate non-profit and a Harvard student organization, PBHA is governed by the student membership and supported by professional staff. More than 1,600 students actively volunteer in 79 programs encompassing after- and in-school programs; mentoring; adult education; elderly and teen programs; housing construction; and social and legal advocacy. The programs range in intensity and focus, but are mostly community-based and are committed to ongoing, continuous service, including year-round programming. During the summer, PBHA operates 12 intensive summer camps for children in the neighborhoods served during the term time. PBHA is strongly invested in a deep level of community partnership for direction, integrity of programming, and resource support.

Often referred to as "the best course at Harvard," PBHA is dedicated to student mentorship and learning. Numerous opportunities exist for students to get involved:

The Stride Rite Community Service Program, administered through PBHA, provides financial support to Federal Work-Study eligible students along with opportunities for professional and personal development. There are also numerous opportunities, such as the Big Question, through which students can discuss and learn about social justice issues. Additional reflection and training, based in peer sharing and best practices, are provided through the Cabinet, the student membership body.

Public Service Network

Amanda Sonis Glynn, Director
Phillips Brooks House, Harvard Yard, 617-496-8622

The Harvard Public Service Network (PSN) serves as a coordinating and support organization for approximately 50 independent public service groups on campus. PSN staff serve as a resource for students, faculty, and other administrators on campus. PSN provides student advising, publishes a directory of public service organizations and an annual report, conducts workshops and speaker panels, and manages a Website and a listserv. PSN works closely with PBHA staff and students to host trainings and speakers for all volunteers and to create forums and other events that broaden campus exposure to issues concerning public service.

The Center for Public Interest Careers at Harvard College (CPIC)

Amanda Sonis Glynn, Coordinator, 617-496-8622

Established in 2001, the Center for Public Interest Careers (CPIC) engages and supports Harvard undergraduates and recent graduates in expanding awareness of and exploring careers in the public interest. Working closely with university, alumni/ae, and community partners, CPIC develops fellowships, internships, networks, and opportunities for personal and professional development. Through CPIC’s flagship program the CPIC Fellowship and Internship Program, CPIC staff work closely with alumni/ae volunteers to match undergraduates and recent graduates with paid summer and post-graduate year-long positions in non-profit organizations and government agencies in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and San Francisco; the program also provides various supports to students throughout the course of their fellowships and internships. The CPIC Fund for Service Internship (FSI) Program, funded by the Heckscher Foundation for Children, matches students with summer internship opportunities in child advocacy organizations in New York and provides a stipend and housing. FSI interns participate in intensive programming designed to enhance their learning experiences before, during, and after their summer internships. CPIC also administers four additional grant opportunities for undergraduates:

Public Service Program

The OCS Public Service Program supports student involvement in work for the public good. For more information, see Chapter 8.