The UNM Service Corps acts in collaboration with a variety of community partners, neighborhood groups, local schools and non-profits to address critical social and educational issues facing children and families. The UNM Service Corps includes a collective of 170 university students predominantly from New Mexico. The students apprentice with strong community leaders in approximately 40 community-based organizations. Most Service Corps members are immersed in neighborhood projects for approximately 20 hours a week for at least one year. They address critical issues in education, health, and community sustainability through direct service, research and advocacy.
Founded in 1997, the UNM Service Corps has served in more than 30 communities and neighborhoods within the city of Albuquerque and touched the individual lives of more than 50,000 children and families. Since its founding, more than 800 UNM/CNM students have served one or more Ameri-Corps term with UNM Service Corps and received over $1,000,000 in AmeriCorps Educational Awards.
Experiences for the Service Corps members are within six distinct focus areas. The common threads that bind these include: strong community leaders as mentors; community-driven programming; cutting-edge projects that experiment with democracy; team-work at sites; assets based approach; place- based learning; community as text; and experience deconstructing practice through an anti-racist/anti-bias lens.
All Service Corps members have monthly workshops, retreats, and weekly classes to deepen their practice. Many of these professional development opportunities are lead by their peers, the CEC Interns. This leadership opportunity within the Corps is part of a national Bonner Foundation network.