Community Engagement is part of the fabric of Drake University as shown in our mission, strategic plan, and values. Over 80% of our students have a community service or service-learning experience by the time they graduate and approximately, 70% of our faculty and staff are engaged in the local community through serving on boards, actively volunteering with a community organization, or supporting different professional development associations. The following is a sampling of our Community Engagement & Service-Learning programming:

Community Action Board (CAB) is a student run organizationt that seeks to connect Drake students to meaningful service projects. They update and maintain our campus wide database of volunteer opportunities.

Everybody Wins! Iowa is a literacy and mentoring non-profit organization that increases children's opportunities for success in school and life through one-on-one reading experiences with caring adults and older students. We partner with them to offer a service opportunity to all first year students during Welcome Weekend and the fall semester.

Engaged Citizen Corps is an intentionally designed academic + service year for first year students that connects them with a local community agency working on economic and community development projects focused on housing, safety, health, education, arts & culture and business cultivation.

Iowa Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA program strives to eliminate poverty by addressing our communities greatest issues related to education, opportunity, and health. Iowa Campus Compact VISTA's work accross the state to connect students to various communities and organizations working to erradicate poverty.

Next Course: Food Recovery helps relocate campus food resources that would previoulsy have gone to waste so they can be turned in to nutritious meals for people in need in the Des Moines area.

Sprout: The Des Moines Urban Youth Learning Garden is community garden located on the corner of Drake’s campus, and is a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa (BGCCI).

STEM Pathways Initative pairs high school students from Des Moines Public Schools with Drake student mentors and professional mentors at The Principal Group to explore a variety of professional opportunities related to math and science.

The Community Action Poverty Simulation is meant to help sensitize participants to the struggles people in poverty face on a daily basis. Volunteers are needed each fall to assist in offerring the simulation to campus.

Little Free Pantry Project - Drake has 3 Little Free Pantries on campus (corner of 24th and Forest, bus stop in front of Aliber, and Olmsted Parking Lot). The motto of the Free Little Pantries is “take what you need, leave what you can.” Anyone is welcome to either take from or give to the pantries. Much of the Drake Neighborhood resides within a food desert – a USDA classification for an urban area where it is difficult to buy affordable or high-quality fresh food.The project was funded thanks to a kickstarter grant from the Wellmark Foundation, and implemented with support from the Office of Community Learning and LEAD students and faculty. Local artisan Doug Hesseltine created and built the pantries. More information about the project can be found at You can now also drop off donations to a Drake mail pick-up location - print a flyer for your department: Little Free Pantry Donations