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Center for Community Engagement

REACH- Reinvesting Eagles Around the Community of Hattiesburg

The Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement coordinates the REACH program, in which USM students eligible for federal financial aid are placed at community sites and schools as part of their "on-campus" job. REACH employees work up to 20 hours a week, with roles ranging from office support to dog walker to youth tutor.

To be eligible for the REACH program, USM students must be awarded Federal Work-Study through the USM Financial Aid office, and access to transportation. Students can determine work-study eligibility by checking their SOAR account or by checking with USM Financial Aid. Students must have completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form before the financial aid office can determine eligibility. Members should be able to commit to at least the amount of hours awarded.

Current REACH members serve with Hattiesburg area organization such as Aldersgate Mission, Canopy CARES School, Compassus Hospice & Care, Habitat for Humanity, Hawkins Elementary School, Osceola McCarty Youth Development Center, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, and USM Eagle's Nest Food Pantry. 

REACH members can also serve with Gulf Coast area organization such as the Community Care Network, Lynn Meadows, Make A Wish Foundation, STEPS Coalition, United Way, and the Youth Health Coalition .

Students in the REACH program meet regularly with program administrators to discuss how REACH experiences are connected to their academic studies, what they are learning about civic responsibility, and how their REACH placement is helping prepare them for future careers.

Program Objectives

As a result of participating in the REACH, students will….

  • Test experiences in the community against knowledge gained through academic work and apply course content to community issues to achieve solutions to civic dilemmas.
  • Identify and apply strategies that promote effective teamwork and collaboration through meaningful relationships
  • Demonstrate the critical thinking and reflective reasoning skills necessary to engage in innovative problem-solving and decision making.
  • Develop intercultural competence and demonstrate a commitment to humanitarian values, by increasing their awareness and concern about the diverse needs in the community
  • Develop the leadership skills necessary to positively impact their communities.


  • Must be a full-time, undergraduate student that is work-study eligible and awarded work-study for the applicable semester
  • Completed application
  • Interview
  • Training Attendance
  • Background Check

For more information, contact nneka.ayozieFREEMississippi.  

Contact Us

Center for Community Engagement
116 Harkins Hall
118 College Dr. #5211

Hattiesburg Campus

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