Project SHINE

Levitt Center
315-859-4451 or 315-859-4894

The Levitt Center is located in Kirner-Johnson 251.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do SHINE volunteers do?

Students work as "coaches," assisting in ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) and citizenship classes at one of our four community sites.  As coaches, students work one-on-one, or with a small group of adult English learners two hours a week for ten weeks, totaling twenty hours throughout the semester.

Do I need to have ESOL experience?

No. If you choose to participate in SHINE, you will attend an orientation that will sufficiently prepare you to assist in an ESOL or citizenship class. You will also receive assistance from your professor throughout the semester.

Do I need a car? 

No. Project SHINE provides a van shuttle service to all of our volunteers. The van leaves KJ Circle half an hour before your scheduled time slot.

How do I get involved?

Speak to or email Madeleine La Cotera at the Levitt Center on the 2nd floor of KJ to find what courses will be offering Project SHINE as part of the course, or to volunteer without signing up for a participating course. There will be an online sign-up and mandatory orientation to prepare you for Project SHINE.

How did SHINE start?

The 1996 Welfare Reform legislation placed approximately 8.5 million immigrants and refugees in jeopardy of losing their benefits. Particularly vulnerable are elders who are legal permanent residents but who have not obtained citizenship. Without citizenship, these elders face loss of housing, income, food stamps, and access to health care, among other basic needs. For elderly immigrants applying for citizenship, the INS naturalization exam can present a daunting obstacle. Many have few years of formal schooling and struggle to learn English. SHINE was started in 1997 as a collaboration between City College and San Francisco State University to address the needs of these elderly immigrant students, and to help build intergenerational relationships. These older students have told us that the encouragement and individual attention they get from SHINE coaches can make all the difference. 

What if I have more questions?

Want more information on SHINE? Contact the SHINE coordinators at shine@hamilton.edu.