5th Ward Welcome Sign

The Community Bridges Fellowship Application is not currently accepting applications. The application process will open again in the spring of 2017. 

Congratulations to our 2016-2017 fellows!

  • Olivia Aguilar
  • Corina Badillo
  • Imani Butler
  • Flora Chen
  • Wesley Chou
  • Michael Do
  • Maurice Frediere
  • Salem Hadgu
  • Ben Herndon-Miller
  • Talia Liu
  • Josh Marrs
  • Michael Moran
  • Gillian Perkins


The Community Bridges Program is a service-learning program for Rice University undergraduates that aims to strengthen the relationship between Rice University and the Fifth Ward of Houston. Through an academic course and active fieldwork, Community Bridges Fellows develop and implement long-term projects focused on the sustainable reduction of poverty. The program currently partners with 11 organizations in the Fifth Ward, each providing services for Fifth Ward locals.

Program aims:

  • To sustainably reduce poverty in the Fifth Ward.
  • To offer an experiential-learning program at Rice University that fosters lasting relationships between the undergraduate community and the Fifth Ward.
  • To generate a meaningful impact for both the Fifth Ward community and Rice University students.
  • To expand structures for the Rice and Fifth Ward community to work together and develop projects that will effectively address the needs of the Fifth Ward as seen by residents of the Fifth Ward.
  • To encourage discussion in the Rice community on issues related to social inequality, poverty and socioeconomic mobility in Houston.

The application for the 2016-2017 fellowship will be open April 1st - April 22nd, 2016. Interviews will be held April 25th - May 4th, 2016. Students will be notified of acceptance before leaving for summer break. The program activities will officially begin in August when students return to school in the fall. While earning 1 credit through SOCI 469, students will begin to learn about the Fifth Ward by attending a variety of activities and events in the neighborhood. Then in the spring semester, students will earn 4 credit hours through SOCI 470 while working 5-7 hours/week on a project with one of our partner organizations while attending class 3 hours/week to discuss the theory behind urban inequalities.   


The Kinder Institute and the Center for Civic Engagement in partnership with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates, founded Community Bridges in 2011. In its five-year history, Community Bridges has successfully facilitated 145 undergraduate fellows who have put in over 11,000 hours of service in the Fifth Ward community.


In 2014, the program was recognized by the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, in partnership with the New York Life Foundation, in Washington D.C.. The program was awarded the 2014 Higher Civic Engagement Award and was acclaimed as one of Rice University's exemplary models of service. Read more here.

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Amanda Macune

Community Bridges Program Coordinator