Freshman Year: Finding Roots

How will you develop your active citizenship?

Applications for Class of 2023 will open Summer 2019. 

From the beginning of your time at William and Mary, Aim 4 integrates active citizenship, the skills and perspective of positive community change, into your journey. 

Why join Aim 4 your freshman year? 
  • Partner with communities for positive change through service
  • Gain a strong social network for support and growth through your college experience
  • Connect with other colleges and universities through conferences and student exchanges
  • Develop skills and explore values transferable to life after college
"At the beginning of the year, I joined Aim 4 because I really enjoyed community service and wanted to help people. This is still true, but I have a more nuanced, advanced perspective now. I am developing the skills and resources needed to combat complex social issues." - Aim 4 Freshman

"Before Aim 4 I had not heard often term "active citizenship." I have been raised to value community engagement, but I have never thought of it as deeply as I have had to in the past nine weeks. The enormous amount of reflection that I have participated in since school started has made me realize the importance of said reflection. I know that in order to build meaningful relationships and make meaningful change I need to look at the root causes of an issue and try to interact with those causes." -Aim 4 Freshman 

First Year Experiences

Community Engagement Experiences 

Learn about your new community directly from the community through selected service experiences alongside other participants. Each participant completes weekly community engagement experiences throughout the year. Aim 4 freshmen will complete at least 12 service experiences in the fall semester and 24 hours of service in the spring. Transportation and facilitation provided. 

Community Engagement in Context Course (Spring)

This three-credit course introduces students to and delves into the concepts that support effective, justice-oriented service work as part of a community. Students will explore ideas of what community can be and what it means to lead and serve in a community context. Through readings, discussion, lecture and reflection,students will gain an understanding of various topics including respect and mutuality, active citizenship,identity and privilege, work for social justice, the importance of relationships in community, advocacy and activism, and business and social change.

Cultivation Sessions 

Explore the practical skills and perspectives crucial for active citizenship and community change, such as engaging in effective dialogue, contacting your elected representatives, and learning from local community leaders. 

Community Events 

Attend local community and campus events to further your knowledge of local social issues. Along with the Fellow for Local Engagement, sit in on a school board meeting, participate in a community discussion around homelessness, meet with the voter registrar, or one of the other opportunities for you to be an active citizen.