The Draper Center for Community Partnerships offers an assortment of engagement opportunities through its student-coordinated programs. Each of the following provides a mutually-beneficial opportunity to get involved in the world around you. For more information, or to get involved, contact the program coordinators or stop by the Draper Center office.


Coordinators: D'maia Curry '19, Evan Coburn '20, Jordan Grimaldi '20, Erik Guillen '18, Eisen Ipac '19, Katheryn Kornegay '20, Journey Simmons '20 

Alternabreak is a week-long community engagement trip during Spring Break. Students commit their break to volunteering with organizations in the larger community, addressing social issues such as environmental justice, homelessness, and hunger. Coordinators lead 3 trips each spring, in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland (in partnership with the Office of Black Student Affairs). You can sign up to participate on a trip during the fall.

Community Based Research & Learning (CBRL)

Coordinators: Marisol Diaz '18, Godis Jackson '20, Cheryl Yau '19, Heidi Yuan '18

The Draper Center partners with faculty at Pomona College to design and develop Community Partnership (CP) courses to promote Community-Based Research and Learning (CBRL). CP courses are full-credit courses that incorporate a practicum-based approach to learning academic topics, and involve partnering with community organizations to establish engagement initiatives between students and communities. CBRL organizes and facilitates events that encourage faculty and student engagement with the communities and their histories, host information sessions for students interested in taking CP courses, and develop resources for faculty potentially interested in teaching a CP course.


Coordinators: Sami Abujbarah '19, Darartu Doto '18, Justin Hyoin '18, Marcus Polk '19, Cheryl Yau '19, Heidi Yuan '18


ENGAGE builds partnerships with student organizations at The Claremont Colleges to be a bridge to meaningful community engagement opportunities. We aim to encourage critical reflection on why the social justice issues and non-profit organizations we work with exist. These efforts will be a source for innovation and new partnerships in community engagement. Ultimately, we aspire to increase the presence of the Draper Center at The Claremont Colleges and provide a support system for student organizations and activism.

English as a Second Language + (ESL+)

Coordinators: Micaiah Palmer '19, Lucero Ramirez '19, Heidi Yuan '18


The English as a Second Language + (ESL+) Tutoring Program gives staff at Pomona College the opportunity to improve their English speaking, writing, reading, computer literacy skills though one-on-one meetings with students. Interested staff sign-up and are paired with one or more 5C students who put together weekly lesson plans. The program is a great opportunity for staff and students to build valuable relationships and learn from each other.

Health Bridges

Coordinators: Richard Ballena '19, Zoe Zhou '18


Health Advocates work side by side with low-income and/or Low English Proficiency (LEP) patients in their native languages to navigate the hospital system and obtain health resources for which they are eligible.

Hunger and Homelessness Initiative (HHI)

Coordinators: Marisol Diaz '18, Sophie Roe '19


Hunger and Homelessness Initiative (HHI) seeks to raise awareness about food and shelter scarcity in the local communities. Through Food Recovery Network, HHI organizes student volunteer drivers to pick up left over food from the dining halls and deliver it to local shelters. We simultaneously reduce food waste at The Claremont Colleges and provide reliable, nutritious food for those in need. Interested students should contact the Food Recovery coordinator.

Leadership and Engagement in Gender and Sexuality (LEGS)

Coordinators: Fernando Barceló '20, Journey Simmons '20


Leadership and Engagement in Gender and Sexuality (LEGS) is a collaboration with the Queer Resource Center of The Claremont Colleges that brings local LGBTQA high school students and Claremont Colleges students together on a weekly basis. College students and high school students both develop leadership and facilitation skills while establishing sustainable community bonds and exploring aspects of their own and others' identity. 

Learning IN Collaboration (LINC)

Coordinators: Sami Abujbarah '19, Asem Berkalieva '18, Sophie Roe '19


LINC partners Pomona College tutors with local under-resourced schools. Volunteers will work one on one with elementary school students during and after the school day to help students develop their literacy skills and improve their overall performance in school. The program hopes to both engage students in reading and to make learning more inclusive for families. 

Native Initiatives

Coordinators: Emilio Araujo '20, Jordan Grimaldi '20, Rene Valenzuela '20

Next Level

What is PAYS?

Coordinators: Ezequiel Estrada '20, Sara Murphy '18


Next Level is an after school program intended to create a group of students who can articulate what their next step to achieving educational and personal goals are, as well as their hopes for the entire group. Through college visitation field trips, standardized test preparation, mentor relationships, and teambuilding activities, students work together to form long term visions and short term goals based on their values., strengths, and experience. It also seeks to include families in a long-term plan for the future. 

Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS)

A 2014 podcast by Pomona Partners middle school students from Fremont Academy.

Coordinators: Jacób Gomez '18, Erik Guillen '18, Eisen Ipac '19, Godis Jackson '20, Teo Saragi '18, Timothy Valdez PZ '19


The Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS) yearlong program works to support high school students in their preparation for postsecondary study and to inculcate a culture of college-bound achievement. During the summer, PAYS participants engage in a rigorous, four week liberal arts curriculum intended to push students’ academic boundaries and to foster community among students and college mentors. College students can volunteer to be a College Advisor or Tutor while seeking summer employment as a Resident Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Writing Tutor or Math Tutor. To get involved, or to find out more, send an email to the coordinator team or drop by the Draper Center.

Pomona Partners

Coordinators: Anabel Gomez '18, Katheryn Kornegay '20, DD Maoz '18


Pomona Partners is a non-academic mentor program for Fremont Academy students focusing on self-realization, empowerment, and social awareness. With coordination through the Draper Center for Community Partnerships, volunteers design and implement a curriculum that includes weekly visits to Fremont as well as two off-site field trips per semester. Pomona Partners hopes to cultivate mentor relationships and foster a peer group for success in high school and a college future. To get involved, or to find out more, send an email to the coordinator team or drop by the Draper Center.

Rooftop Garden Project

Coordinators: Soleil Ball Van Zee '19, Amanda Mutai '20


The Rooftop Garden Project is a collaboration between Pomona College and Teen Green, a part of Uncommon Good. The program aims to increase activism and awareness around environmental justice, sustainability, and gardening; build leadership and presentation skills; and develop positive mentoring relationships between Pomona and Teen Green students. Environmentors and mentees work together to develop short workshops and collaborate with other members of the program to cultivate a garden on top of Sontag Residence Hall. We meet biweekly on Thursdays from 4 pm to 5:30 pm.