FIRST YEARS Involved in Reflective Service Together

In keeping with our Jesuit identity, we work toward incorporating the values of St. Ignatius Loyola in all aspects of daily life.  Living up to this goal gives us a desire to be "men and women for and with others," which fosters a yearning not only to help those in need but also to be an agent for change.

History of FIRST

In 2003, Clare Strockbine, a student worker in the Center for Service & Social Justice (previous called Collegiate Volunteers), wrote a proposal for the F.I.R.S.T. program.  With this in mind, The Center for Service & Social Justice and the Office of Student Engagement began sponsoring the program called F.I.R.S.T. - First-Years Involved in Reflective Service Together.  We encourage current students to share their ideas for new programs with us.  Want to pitch an idea?  Make an appointment with the CSSJ Director, Patricia Vaccaro, at

Types of Service Performed

Forty incoming freshmen will be given the opportunity to participate in five days of service in the Scranton community immediately preceding Fall Welcome. Types of service include working with elementary school children, food insecurity agencies, and participating in an outdoor beautification project. All of the projects involve hands-on work.  In the evening, we will stay at the University's Retreat Center at Chapman Lake. A team of eight upperclassmen will lead F.I.R.S.T., including the staff program coordinator, Avianna Carilli.  Meals and reflections are also included involving faculty and staff.  

When Can I apply?

Check your Scranton email account frequently in the Spring!! Incoming First Year students may apply when the Forms Packet is released from the Admissions Dept.  This is typically the first week in May.  Space is limited and is held on a first come first serve basis.  Directions on how to apply will be included in the forms packet.  NO EARLY APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.  Applications must be completed by the STUDENT.

How much does the program cost?

Cost is $350, payable at the time of the completed and accepted online application. This covers food, housing and transportation for the week.

What are the dates for the upcoming year?

The dates of the 2024 F.I.R.S.T. program are Monday August 19 (move in) to Saturday August  24.  Students will bring ALL their items for the upcoming academic year on this date to move in.  We will have a limited amount of students available to help move your items into your residence hall.  Move in times are between 10am-1pm.  Students will leave for the Lake at 4pm on Monday, after saying goodbye to their families.

Students will still be able to participate in Move-In Day activities and parents are welcome to return for mass on August 24.  Students will be available after 12pm on Saturday.  A full schedule of move in day activities can be found on the Student Engagement webpage.


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