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Connect, serve & lead

To say that Union has a strong culture of community outreach is an understatement. The College has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll five times, a reflection of a deep commitment to fostering a strong relationship with the local community. 

The Kenney Community Center serves as the hub of community-minded programs that are changing the face of the neighborhood. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), for example, has helped local residents obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax refunds through free tax preparation. Several homes have been built in Schenectady through Habitat for Humanity, and more than 500 community residents attend the annual U-CARE Carnival. And thanks to the passions and hard work of students, faculty and staff at Union, the Park Place neighborhood has become a national model for neighborhood revitalization.

Throughout the campus, Union students are inspired to lend a hand, support the local community and make a lasting impact.

Some community programs and activities that have earned us the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll:

  • America Reads Literacy Program
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters
  • Campus Kitchens
  • Champions Youth Boxing and Tutoring Programs
  • Empty Bowls Projects of Schenectady
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP)
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

By the numbers:


Number of times in the past six years that Union has been recognized on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to the local community.


Years that Union's Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) has helped students in grades 7-12 prepare to enter college and increase their participation in mathematics, science, technology and health fields by working with Union faculty, staff and students, and with other local teachers and professionals.


Distinct programs offered through Union's Kenney Community Center.


Schenectady-based not-for-profit and community organizations partner with the Kenney Community Center.


Bouquets delivered to brighten area nursing homes in the past two years by students, faculty and staff after Union events.


Number of children and families who come to campus for U-CARE Day  a free, annual spring carnival with pizza, ice cream and games. 100 Union students lead the fun.


Union students who volunteered 20 hours or more per term last year.


Meals prepared last year by Campus Kitchens, a program where student volunteers deliver excess food from the college's dining hall and help prepare meals for the City Mission of Schenectady.


Service learning hours completed by health professions students in hospitals, hospice centers and other area facilities.


Hours Union students spent on community service projects last year. 

$3 Million

Total amount of state and federal refunds secured through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, where Union students help prepare tax returns for local low-income families and senior citizens.