Hiram Service Leaders

Inspired by Hiram College alumnus George Bellamy, who in 1896 founded one of the country’s first settlement houses in Cleveland, Ohio, Hiram Service Leaders are a select group of students who serve with local nonprofit agencies and participate in a multi-year student leadership program, all with a focus on ethical awareness, reflection, and action. Students reflect on and advocate for fairness, impartiality, and equality while addressing systematic social and environmental issues and participate intentionally as a citizen in the democratic process, actively engaging in public policy and direct service.


To provide students with opportunities to develop their capacities in the areas of leadership, ethics and civic engagement while benefiting local community service agencies.

The Program’s Elements

Serve with an area nonprofit agency:

  • Students serve as service leaders at area community partner agencies, recruiting, transporting and helping to facilitate additional student volunteers and interns.
  • Work study awards or stipends of up to $1,800 a year at hourly wages are provided to eligible students on a selective basis for their work with partner agencies.

Engage in related academic coursework and skill building:

  • Students are engaged in an interdisciplinary approach to service enriched by an introductory seminar in civic engagement facilitated by faculty whose expertise span such diverse disciplines as biomedical humanities, communication, education, environmental studies, social entrepreneurship, ethics, public leadership, sociology and psychology.
  • Faculty advisors lead regular reflection and planning meetings and coordinate skill-based workshops to enhance the work of service leaders in the community.


Participation in retreats and professional development:

  • Annual fall and winter retreats orient Service Leaders and build community.
  • Regular service leader meetings are scheduled for planning and student development.
  • Students are invited to participate in an alternative break service trip that impels them to learn about, reflect on, and act to address a root cause of environmental, social and/or economic inequity in a community.

*The individual components of the Hiram Service Leader program are open to all students (volunteering at local agencies, taking the Service and Learning 1hr Seminar, participating in retreats and alternative spring break service trips), but only selected students are hired as Hiram Service Leaders and are able to receive work study or stipends for their participation in the program. Hiram Service Leaders take on the additional responsibility of helping to facilitate the overall program.

Jason Bricker-Thompson
Director of the Office of Civic Engagement
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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