FOCUS First-Year Orientation CommUnity Service

FOCUS Logo

FOCUS is a five-day program for incoming first-years who are interested in participating in community service while getting to know the Greater Boston Area, Tufts and their fellow students.

During FOCUS, you’ll work on local service projects in an area of your interest along with a group with other incoming students and two upperclassmen leaders.

If you have any questions please feel free to email us at focus@tufts.edu. We hope you join us in August!!

Service Themes

Hunger

 We work with soup kitchens, food banks, and community kitchens to feed and distribute food to those who need it. Past sites have included the Boston Rescue Mission, the Greater Boston Food Bank, and Community Servings.

Homelessness

We work in homeless shelters and help out with the day-to-day work. This may include sorting clothes, making beds, and preparing for meals. Past sites have included halfway houses, food pantries, the St. Francis house, and the Pine Street Inn.

Environment

We do hands-on work to help keep Boston green and beautiful. Often, these groups work in parks such as the Boston Esplanade and on the Mystic Watershed. Weather permitting, your group will spend much of its time outdoors.

Youth Advocacy

We work with organizations that benefit children throughout Boston through community and educational development. Past groups have worked with organizations like Cradles to Crayons, which helps Boston-area children get the school supplies they need.

Special Needs/Giving Camp

Our special needs group, Giving Camp, runs special programming for people with special needs for five days. This intensive experience includes training and has been described as exceptionally rewarding by past participants.

Urban Revitalization

We do the hands-on work of sprucing up the built environment throughout Boston as well as work to support local communities. Projects include community service at local schools and community organizations and the work varies from light construction and environmental maintenance to helping local Somerville teachers prepare for the upcoming school year. Previous organizations have included Youth Build Boston and the Stone Zoo.

Elderly

We work with organizations that focus on the wellbeing of elderly citizens in locations like the Somerville Home. Past sites include Medford Council on Aging and The Community Family. If you’re a people-person, you have the skills we’re looking for.

LGBT

We work with local organizations that advocate for the local LGBT community. In the past, we’ve worked with the AIDS Action Committee, MassEquality, and Black and Pink.  

Arts Advocacy

We work with local artists and arts organizations that strive to build community through the arts and social justice. Past sites include Boston Children's Theatre, Ethnic Arts Center, and the Cambridge Art Association.

Racial Equity Advocacy

The Racial Equality Advocacy group works with community organizations in the Boston area working to provide people of color with dedicated services such as youth groups and senior centers. Past sites have included the Medford Diversity Office, The City School, and The Welcome Project.