Summer Service Partnership

The Summer Service Partnership (SSP) program is an exciting 8-week opportunity for students to explore community health issues through a mentorship, service-learning program on the South Side of Chicago. Each summer, medical and graduate students, University of Chicago undergraduates, and high school students form teams, design projects, and build lasting community relationships in our four partner neighborhoods: Greater Grand Crossing, South Chicago, Washington Park, and Woodlawn. Led by the interests of the students and the needs of the community, the neighborhood teams create and implement sustainable service projects that address important community health needs.

The mission of the Summer Service Partnership (SSP) program is to develop the next generation of leaders in community health.

Program Overview

  • SSP participants will receive training in team leadership, asset-based community development, community organizing, the principles of service-learning, advocacy, policy narrative, community-based participatory research, and other topics related to community health.
  • The medical, graduate, college and high school students will work collaboratively to create asset maps of their assigned neighborhoods, meet with community leaders, visit community organizations, and conduct a needs assessment.
  • Each team will focus on a community health issue and design a project and the process for addressing their issue. Past projects have explored topics such as obesity and violence. Pritzker medical students should note that they can develop these projects to meet requirements for the Community Health Scholarship Track of Scholarship and Discovery.
  • The medical or graduate student(s) and the college students will develop a curriculum for the high school students that may include leadership training, public speaking skills, college preparation, book discussions, and reflection assignments.
  • Once a week, all neighborhood teams will meet together for discussions with community leaders, community-engaged faculty, and local or state politicians. Neighborhood teams also meet for weekly field trips to community organizations around Chicago.

Program Details

Dates: SSP is an 8-week program.

  • University of Chicago undergraduates, graduate, and medical students: June 26, 2017 - August 18, 2017
  • High school students: July 5, 2017 – August 18, 2017

Stipend: All student participants will receive a stipend.
Pre-requisites: All SSP medical students must enroll in the spring 2017 Community Health Elective.
More information: If you have any questions, please email Ann Merrell

Application Details

Students who are passionate about community health, have an interest in mentorship, and are committed to incorporating service activities into their education should consider applying to SSP.

We are no longer accepting applications for SSP 2017. The application for SSP 2018 will be available in Winter/Spring 2018. 

SSP Blog

Throughout the summer, SSP participants publish blog entries on a weekly basis describing their summer experiences, volunteer opportunities, and final projects. Learn more about the SSP program from the perspective of the participants by checking out the SSP blog.