American University of Beirut

Engaged Scholars Program (ESP)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​CCECS designed a structured and comprehensive program for impactful civic engagement rooted in community-university partnerships that equips students with the tools needed to assess, analyze, and respond to the most pressing needs facing Lebanon, the region, and beyond.  Each year, CCECS guides more than 700 undergraduate and graduate scholarship recipients from the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan through a four-track journey beginning with community engagement skills workshops, volunteering rotations, extending to internships, and culminating in the development and implementation of a Community Support Project (CSP). This methodology ensures scholars develop the skills and mindsets of transformative leadership through opportunities to practice, reflect, and embody the values and behaviors consistent with AUB and the respective scholarship program.

​​(1) Volunteering Rotations: Scholars are matched to appropriate opportunities with diverse humanitarian organizations and agencies that reflect the dynamic needs of targeted communities, as well as students’ expertise, interests, and availability. Examples include: providing educational reinforcement to marginalized youth, participating in awareness campaigns, and providing psychosocial support for refugees and individuals with special needs.

(2) Community Engagement Skills Workshops: Scholars participate in a series of tailored workshops aimed at developing the skills necessary to achieve each civic engagement milestone. Topics are delivered by subject-matter experts and include, but not limited to: introduction to civic engagement & community-based learning, multimedia techniques; conflict resolution; elevator pitch; and trauma-informed interviewing techniques.

(3) Community-based Internships: Scholars secure internship opportunities with credible local and international organizations serving marginalized populations, to gain insight into working environments, connect theory to practice, develop job-related skills, and establish professional networks. Examples include: education, refugee aid, relief and rehabilitation, environmental sustainability, democracy and human rights, economic and public policy.

(4) Community Support Project (CSP): A students’-led initiative that responds to a pressing challenge facing vulnerable communities. A CSP engages students in a participatory design process with stakeholders and community members to develop a pilot intervention situated in the area selected for their field work. The pilot is a practical solution tailored to meet local needs, using cost-effective methods, available resources, and taps into the local knowledge. Following the implementation of the pilot and its evaluation, a CSP can be expanded to cover a wider scope of the same targeted community, and potentially transferrable to various locations. 

Scholarship Programs served by CCECS:

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