About

The Community Bridges program is a year-long, experiential learning program for undergraduate students at Rice University which is designed to help understand poverty and inequality issues, as well as to strengthen the relationship between Rice University and the Greater Houston community. Through an academic course and active fieldwork, Community Bridges Fellows develop and implement projects focused on the sustainable reduction of poverty and inequality. The program currently partners with 12 organizations in the Greater Houston area, each providing services for the local residents.

Founded in 2011, The Kinder Institute has been running this program for six years and successfully facilitated 145 undergraduate fellows who have put in over 11,000 hours of service in the Greater Houston community.

Alumni of the Community Bridges Program list it as one of the most impactful experiences contributing to both career and personal growth, and community agencies that students work with often benefit from student projects for years to come. Check out the alumni list here.

Testimonial from Caroline Brigham (cohort of 2015-2016): 

"The Community Bridges Program is an immersive, interactive, and eye-opening experience that I will carry with me always. In the classroom, we learn how rapid urbanization and the politics of exclusion shape neighborhoods such as the Fifth Ward in Houston. In the community, we interact with residents, reflect on provoking conversations, and serve with non-profits working to overcome the challenges faced by inequality in urban life. We learn how better to listen to community desires, bridge resources, and create policy for sustainable social change. We actively think and do, and are transformed by the world around us, instead of constantly moving through.”     

Awards 

In 2014, the program was recognized by the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, in partnership with the New York Life Foundation, in Washington D.C.. The program was awarded the 2014 Higher Civic Engagement Award and was acclaimed as one of Rice University's exemplary models of service. Read more here.

Apply

The application for the 2017-2018 fellowship is now open! Find it here. Applications are due by 11:45 p.m. on August 31, 2017. Fellowship activities will not begin until the fall semester.