This article originally appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education on February 17th, 2021.
Three weeks ago, the Hillel chapter at George Washington University began working with a local Jewish community center to help older residents of the D.C. region navigate the digital obstacles to sign up for coveted Covid-19 vaccines. Tech-savvy college students stepping up? Cool, I thought — not to mention a great model for all sorts of other student groups.
The project has since expanded, with more than 250 students and alumni from GW and neighboring colleges now volunteering to help seniors get appointments for the jab. And the effort is going national. The Hillel chapter is sharing its training materials and FAQs with an organization called Repair the World so that volunteers in other communities can work with local organizations to offer a similar service. Adena Kirstein, executive director of the GW Hillel chapter, said Repair the World, which is better positioned to scale up the program, could be promoting new partnerships within weeks.