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.

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 an enhanced Opportunities Fund grant, 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.


For more information, please contact:

Cam Stewart

Cam Stewart
Student Writing Specialist

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