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Sections:Service and Opportunities

When:   August 25-30, 2006
Where:   New Haven
Type:   Other

FOCUS is a week-long sophomore orientation program that familiarizes Yale students with New Haven through direct service, educational panels, and outings in the city. Participants work in a variety of community organizations including the Eli Whitney Museum, a center for alternative learning; the local book bank; Leeway, the state’s only AIDs hospice; and Community Gardens. We hold nightly panels followed by small group discussions. Panels include the mayor of New Haven, economic planners, key education players, and community leaders. We further familiarize students with the city through new experiences like walking tours of rarely explored neighborhoods, outings to some of the city’s treasures such as East Rock, trips on city buses, and a final dinner with food from some of the best restraints around. By the end of the week, we hope that participants will have an increased comfort with the New Haven area, that they will appreciate its strengths and promote these to fellow students, and that they will understand the complexity of the challenges it faces and feel energized to continue participating in the community in ways that thoughtfully address them. This year’s program runs from Friday August 25th - Thursday August 31st. FOCUS charges a participation fee of $90 but financial aid is available. We house participants in the Marriot on Broadway, only a few blocks from Old Campus, and we provide three meals a day. During the school year we also host a few “reunion” social events.

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