Writing & Public Service


Effective communication is not just a tool for academic and career success. It’s also a tool for social change. That conviction underlies the Writing and Public Service Initiative, a project that was launched by the Harvard College Writing Program in 2010. The Writing and Public Service Initiative aims to support Harvard freshmen and upperclassmen who are interested in deploying their skills as clear and dynamic writers for public service.

Through the Writing and Public Service Initiative, undergraduates can connect with schools and non-profits that have expressed a need for volunteer writing tutors, writing coaches, writers, and editors. Harvard undergraduates can serve in important ways, from putting sophomores and juniors from Cambridge and Boston public schools on the path toward a high school diploma, to helping underprivileged high school seniors find their voices in the college essay-writing process.


If you’d like to receive regular updates on opportunities to make your writing contribute to the public good, or if you’d like to serve as one of several student leaders who can help the Writing and Public Service Initiative grow, please contact us at wpsiharvard@gmail.com


Become a college essay mentor at Boston Green Academy. Click here for more information.   

Become a mentor at the Brighton High School Writing Lab. Click here for more information.

Pitch your own initiative! Reach us at wpsiharvard@gmail.com for more information.

These public service initiatives join the Harvard tradition of public service with the College’s strong emphasis on writing as a key component of an undergraduate education. The Initiative has been established in the spirit of Harvard’s renewed commitment to the tradition of serving the public good, a renewal that President Drew Faust animated in creating the Public Service Committee in 2008. In her 2010 Commencement address, President Faust underscored that commitment: “It is a fundamental purpose of the modern research university to develop talent in service of a better world. . . . We as a University live under the protection of the public trust. It is our obligation to nurture and education talent to serve that trust—creating the people and the ideas that can change the world.”

Program Coordinator, College-Bound Mentoring Program: Katherine Emley (kemley@college.harvard.edu)