Our 7 Generations pre-orientation community service trips are offered each August to a small group of incoming students. Each of the three trips focuses on an important social issue in our area and allows students to learn about that issue while working together on related service projects. 7 Generations is an incredible opportunity to get connected to community service at W&M, meet 9 other incoming students, and make a positive impact before move-in day.
- Learn about diverse social issues and community-building solutions
- Address those issues through direct service with community organizations
- Serve with other incoming students interested in community engagement and get an early introduction to William & Mary
Here's what past participants have to say about the experience:
"This trip not only taught me a lot about issues in our community, but it also allowed me to help make a difference with great people while becoming more comfortable at my new school."
"Interacting with the community and doing hands-on work at the roots of an issue, like working at Shalom Farms, were both irreplaceable experiences I gained from participating in 7Generations."
"Before attending the trip, I was uncertain about my placement at William and Mary and the Williamsburg community, but through service, teamwork, and laughter, I realized that I can make an impact through my school, my ideas, and hard work."
Registration now open for 7 Generations 2017 - August 21-24
In Summer 2017 we will offer three trips. Registration is open May 1 through July 18, and trips are filled on a first come, first served basis.
2017 Trip Themes
This trip will focus the role of the local government in the Williamsburg area. Students will meet with local elected official and government staff to learn about the various services and challenges of local government in our community. Students will volunteer with departments such as parks and recreation, public housing, and human services.
This trip will focus on the local criminal justice system from various perspectives. Students will engage with justice system officials such as judges, police officers, and special advocates, as well as working with non-profits which engage with the system including Latisha's House, Walk the Talk Mentoring, and Art 180.
This trip will focus on the realities of poverty in the Williamsburg area. Students will learn about how hunger, housing, employment, health, and transportation are all related in anti-poverty efforts. Students will partner with a variety of local agencies which address local poverty including Habitat ReStore, Williamsburg Health Foundation, FISH food pantry, and Erase the Need.
The program begins at 11:30 on Monday August 21 in Blow Memorial Hall (262 Richmond Rd). 7 Generations programming will conclude the evening of Thursday August 24, but students will be provided housing that evening, and then be free for W&M move-in Friday August 25.
All participants will check in on Monday and complete an afternoon of service together. On Monday evening participants will split into their three teams and head to their respective housing. Tuesday through Thursday each trip will learn more about their theme, volunteer with community partners, explore campus and the local community, and engage in guided reflection.
2017 trip schedules are finalized during the summer. Below is a typical day schedule for three previous trips.
Animals in Community
9-2 pm Heritage Humane Society, lunch on site
2:30-5pm Dream Catchers Therapeutic Riding
7pm K9 Connection Service Dogs
8:30-1:30pm Kel Rae Farms, lunch on farm
2-3pm Farmer's Market
3-6:30 pm Campus Kitchen Cooking Shift
6:30-7:30 pm Dinner
7:30 Guided tour of campus with student leaders
8:30-12pm 3E Homelessness Restoration
12:30-1:30 Lunch with Williamsburg Housing Authority
2-5pm Habitat ReStore
7pm Housing Documentary
Each trip costs $135 per student. These fees include travel expenses during the trip, food, housing and education materials. Payments are due by August 4 and will be processed online. Further instructions on payment are provided when you register for the trip.
The Office of Community Engagement is committed to our programs being financial accessible and we never want cost to keep a student from participating. A limited number of $50 scholarships are available and you may apply for a scholarship through the registration form. If you have more financial questions, please contact us.
Other First Year Experiences
Can't commit to the whole week of 7 Generations or just want to add even more community engagement to the start of your W&M experience? Consider signing up for SHOW Day, a half-day community experience built into Orientation.
Want to continue your commitment through your freshman year at William and Mary? Apply for the Aim 4 program, a curricular and experiential program to support students develop their path to active citizenship.