Community Partners

The Engaged Summer Program is a 10-week experience open to students at George Mason University.

Engaged Summer Participants will be matched with Community Partners to complete 15-20 hours per week of service on a project proposed by the Community Partner.  

What are the expectations of community partners and potential partners? 

  • Community Partner sites should be located in Fairfax, Prince William or Arlington counties;  

  • Partner sites must have a substantial project or program for the student to focus on over the 10 weeks that will contribute to the mission and goals of the organization. Projects can be direct or indirect service projects;   

  • Community Partners sites must have the capacity to supervise the fellow during the duration of the 10-week summer program and offer guidance, direction, and mentoring;  

  • Partners must provide orientation to students about the organization - sharing the history, mission, and scope of the organization’s work;  

  • The partner supervisor or their alternative must attend the Engaged Summer Program Interviews, partner meeting, and program training;  

  • Partners must provide an evaluation of the fellow during the program and at its completion;  

  • Partner sites must provide and create a safe and supportive environment for student volunteers.  

What kind of projects can Engaged Summer Program participants complete? 

  • Projects should meet specific needs of the community organization;  

  • Projects can be direct or indirect service opportunities. Engaged Summer participants can spend time working directly with constituents or on administrative duties that support constituent services and programs.  

  • Any indirect service should have a clearly defined outcome or objective communicated with the student. 

  • Projects can be ongoing but should have a specific deliverable that fits within the program calendar to help assess the development of the project and the experience of Engaged Summer Participants and Community Partners.  

Some examples of potential projects might be, but are not limited to:  

  • The planning and execution of a program event, like a fundraiser or community celebration  

  • The translation of guides or resources 

  • Advocacy and/or organizing on a campaign  

  • Support Tutoring of K-12 students  

  • Office administration with a specific project that the Fellow is responsible for, like updating a database, or collecting resources for community members 

If you're interested in serving as a partner for the Engaged Summer Program, please contact Shauna Rigaud at

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates of the program?

The Engaged Summer Program runs from the week of June 5th thru August 8th 

How are students matched with a community partner site?

Students selected for an interview must participate in a virtual Interview Day on April 14th. Each student will have the opportunity to interview with up to three community partners. After the interviews, Community partners and students will provide their rankings based on their interviews. CECiL staff will then compile the responses and then match students and partners. All matching will be completed by April 28th.

Can other members of my staff participate in the Interview Day?

Yes. Community Organizations who are accepted as a partner site for the Engaged Summer program are required to participate in the Interview Day and are welcome to invite other members of their team to participate in the student interviews.  

My organization requires that students complete a background check, how will I be notified of the student that is placed at my site.

Engaged Summer Partners will be notified of their match by May 1. Once matches are made, partners will be given the contact information for their student and can begin to coordinate any site-specific onboarding needs.  

What if the student that I would like to work with selects another organization as their first choice to work with?

During the Interview Day, partners may meet with up to 15 students. Each partner will be able to rank the students that they interviewed, and matching will consider both the student and the partner's ranking. If a student is no longer available, the CECiL staff will then select the next student and partner combination that is available.  

While we will do our best to match partners with a student, being selected as a partner site does not guarantee that we will be able to match you with a student. Depending on the organization’s timeline and application pool we may be able to work with you to find another match.  

Are there other dates that I need to be available?

Yes, we ask all partners or their representatives to participate in the Engaged Summer Training on May 24th (details will be shared with all partners once they are selected). Additionally, Engaged Summer Partners may also be asked to meet with CECiL staff to check in during the course of the program, based on the partner’s schedule.   

How are the students’ hours managed?

Once matching for the Engaged Summer Program is completed, students and partners will be able to connect to coordinate the volunteer hours during the program. Students will be required to share their hours with CECiL staff and communicate any absences with their site supervisor and include CECiL staff.