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Community Engagement is part of the fabric of Drake University as shown in our mission, continuous improvement plan, and values. More than 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 Office of Community Engaged Learning & Service provides Drake students with countless opportunities to make a difference in Des Moines and the Drake Neighborhood. This relationship strengthens the schools, nonprofits, and neighborhoods with which students work, and prepared Drake students to be civic-minded professionals in their own communities. 

The following is a sampling of our Community Engagement & Service-Learning programming:

Changemaker Scholars is a 4-year scholarship program that engages students in classes on topics of social change, leadership and entrepreneurship, while getting hands-on experience in the community through service and internships.  

Next Course Food Recovery is a student organization that partners with Sodexo to recover food from dining halls and catering events to take to local community agencies. This is a quick, easy volunteer project that has an environmental and social impact! Students, faculty and staff are all welcome to volunteer. 

Sprout: The Des Moines Urban Youth Learning Garden is an educational garden and food forest located on Drake's campus at 30th and Carpenter, and is partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa (BGCCI). All are welcome to learn in and volunteer at the garden and food forest. 

Little Free Pantry Project goes by the motto of "take what you need, leave what you can." In partnership with the LEAD concentration and many others, two Little Free Pantries can be found on Drake's campus and another eight in the Drake Neighborhood.

IRISStudent volunteers read and record the news for those who are visually impaired in Iowa. Shifts happen during the academic year M-F in the morning, and takes approximately 1 hour. Faculty and staff are also welcome to volunteer! Visit IRIS on DUgood. 

Community News