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Community Partners

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Cardinal Service connects Stanford students to opportunities for service that are both transformative for the students and beneficial to the community.

Students and park ranger - Cardinal Course

Our community partners are nonprofit and government organizations that engage Stanford students in service work through research projects, internships, volunteering, and other activities.

There are many ways that Cardinal Service can support your work. Our program staff are happy to discuss your needs and find the right fit for your organization.

What is Cardinal Service?

Cardinal Service is a campus-wide effort to make service an essential part of a Stanford education. Cardinal Service programs engage more than 1,000 students annually in service locally, nationally, and around the world.

Guided by Stanford's Principles of Ethical and Effective Service, students integrate rigorous coursework with real-world experience and reflection, and work with renowned faculty across disciplines to address complex social problems. Opportunities are designed to be beneficial for both the students and the organizations.

Cardinal Service programs

Cardinal Quarter

Cardinal Quarter provides support for students to pursue full-time, quarter-long service experiences. Students are awarded stipends by Stanford University to cover living and transportation expenses. Most, but not all, students pursue these experiences in the summer.

Many students self-design their service experiences by finding a suitable community partner to work with. Please complete this form to be included in our Cardinal Quarter Connections list. Interested students will be encouraged to contact you if they want to pursue the opportunity. In order to receive a fellowship award, the student will need to complete a fellowship application and provide more detailed information from the host organization and direct supervisor.

For more information, contact Valerie Chow, the senior program director for Cardinal Quarter at the Haas Center for Public Service.

Cardinal Courses

A Cardinal Course engages students in projects and partnerships in the community that address social or environmental challenges. Cardinal Courses are designed produce reciprocal benefits for students, faculty, and community partners.

If your organization could benefit from such a partnership, please contact Luke Terra, the director of community-engaged learning and research at the Haas Center for Public Service.

Cardinal Commitment

Cardinal Commitment allows students to make and sustain a significant service commitment as part of their Stanford experience. Students engage with a particular community or student organization or community for at least three quarters. Organizations offer the student part-time volunteering and mentorship guidance.

To get started, please contact Kelly Beck Sordi, the director of Cardinal Commitment at the Haas Center for Public Service.

Cardinal Careers

The Cardinal Careers team makes public service careers more visible, valued, and accessible to Stanford students. 

  • Kickstart Your Social Impact Career: This event is held each year in partnership with Stanford Career Education. Community partners can showcase their organizations and meet students interested in public service careers.
  • Community Impact Fellowships: Graduating seniors work in full-time, 10- to 12-month paid positions in nonprofit organizations and government agencies, mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Job openings: The Cardinal Careers team maintains a mailing list for employers to post public service jobs for recent graduates.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Juaquín Sims, the senior program director for Cardinal Careers at the Haas Center for Public Service.

Madelyn Boslough with two people at the Inian Islands Institute

"Inian Islands Institute has benefited tremendously from our intern's work here in Alaska. This program is a win from every angle: our young nonprofit organization gains a brilliant and dedicated young mind, and she undertakes an educational journey into the wilderness of Alaska, supported by her school. What could be a better partnership?"

- Zachary Brown, PhD Stanford; Founding Director, Inian Islands Institute

Notes from Magic Beach: small-town sustainability in southeast Alaska
Madelyn Boslough, '18, an electrical engineering student, returned to her home state to serve for a summer at the Inian Islands Institute. Madelyn worked on the Institute's micro-hydroelectric system, and was one of 486 students who completed a Cardinal Quarter that year.

Read Madelyn's story

Other ways to engage

Community Service Work-Study

The Community Service Work-Study program allows students who are required to work as part of their financial aid package to work in community organizations and government agencies. This program is available to students during the academic year and in the summer. Students participating in this program during the school year generally work 5–15 hours per week and in the summer may work up to full time. Ninety percent of the student's hourly salary is paid by federal work-study funds and Stanford University.

For more information, contact Yvette Zepeda.

Community Partners Newsletter

The Haas Center periodically sends out information about events and opportunities of interest to community partners. Subscribe

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