FOCUS First-Year Orientation CommUnity Service


Serve and explore Greater Boston while getting to know Tufts and your fellow students.

You’ll work on local service projects in groups of first-year students and upperclass leaders. The five-day service trips into neighboring areas are an incredible way to launch your new career as a Jumbo.

If you are accepted into FOCUS, one of our coordinators will send you program information and ask you to specify what types of service interests you most. Our coordinators will then assign you to a specific service project.

Service Themes


 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.


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.


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.

Children's Advocacy

We work with organizations that benefit children throughout Boston. 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. 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.


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.


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 Equality 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.