Kenan Scholars Program

New York City has over 48,691 unhoused individuals, including 15,227 children, who sleep nightly in the municipal shelter system. The KENAN SCHOLARS PROGRAM AT MACAULAY offers a unique, two-semester experience for students to combat the homeless crisis through direct service and advocacy work. Current Macaulay sophomores who are interested in public service are encouraged to apply. The program will begin in the fall of 2022.

FALL SEMESTER: Students will work directly with unhoused individuals through a partnership with Xavier Mission, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit located in Manhattan. During this semester of direct involvement, students will prepare meals, distribute food and clothing, and develop an understanding of the causes of homelessness. Intimate engagement with the Mission’s patrons will put human faces on what can sometimes seem like a cold statistic. Students will also begin to identify the societal and political causes of housing insecurity.

SPRING SEMESTER: In the program’s second semester, students will take on advocacy roles within the Mission. Working closely with Xavier’s Director of Outreach, students will delve into research, funding, non-profit management, governmental relations, and other structural issues impacting unhoused individuals. They will gain a deep understanding of how the organization works with government, private funders, and the community in serving this vulnerable population, and how those structures can be improved.


  • build a cohort of service-oriented students across the eight campuses
  • introduce students to the issues affecting our city’s most vulnerable populations
  • host a speaker panel for the Macaulay community focusing on the housing crisis
  • gain intimate knowledge of the workings of a New York City non-profit

Participants are nominated as sophomores and must submit an application to be considered for the program. Once chosen, they will have access to enhanced Opportunities Fund grants, with no specific restrictions, and will be invited to attend a retreat between their junior and senior year with their cohort. Students will have a rare chance to play an active role in shaping this new initiative.


The application deadline is May 4, 2022


  • Personal Information

  • Please discuss your intent to apply with your Macaulay academic advisor. We will solicit advisors' input during the selection process.
  • Resume and Personal Statement

  • Upload your resume or CV in PDF format.
    Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 100 MB.
  • In recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression. As of December 2021, there were roughly 50,000 unhoused individuals sleeping each night in New York City’s municipal shelter system (Coalition for the Homeless, 2021). Our collaborative program with the Xavier mission include both direct service and advocacy work.

    In a short response, one or two pages in length, please tell us what draws you to working with the unhoused population. Feel free to highlight any particular strengths—undergraduate classes, volunteer experience, etc.—you think would help contribute to the program. While no prior volunteer experience is required, we hope that you’ll highlight the qualities (empathy, active listening) that will allow you engage both your cohort and the Mission’s patrons. This is a new program, so you will play an active role in shaping it for future students. We are excited to hear your voice!

    Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 100 MB.
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    All applicants must submit a recommendation from a faculty member. Please provide this information to the faculty member who is supplying the recommendation. It is your responsibility to contact your recommender and ensure that they will submit a letter on your behalf. Macaulay will not contact the person listed below to request a recommendation.

    The recommendation should provide an assessment of the applicant’s abilities, and are important to the selection process. The letter should include a candid evaluation of the applicant’s academic abilities, special qualities (particularly in terms of leadership and/or research), and potential to undertake graduate work.

    Recommendations should be emailed directly to Cameron Stewart, Student Writing Specialist, at All recommendation emails should come from the recommender's university-affiliated email.

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For more information, please contact:

Cam Stewart

Cam Stewart
Student Writing Specialist & Facilitator of Literary Projects

Macaulay Honors College
(212) 729-2928(212) 729-2928
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