Project SHINE

A Good Idea


Project SHINE is a national, service-learning program that partners college students with elderly immigrants and refugees. College students serve as tutors and coaches in ESL classrooms in community based agencies where elders gather. Students tutor the elderly in English as well as U.S. History and Civics, subjects needed to pass the citizenship exam. The program improves the quality of life of older immigrants and refugees by promoting intergenerational relationships, providing tutoring to obtain citizenship and decreasing elderly isolation. In addition, SHINE students gain a wider perspective of their world and a deeper understanding of themselves.

Goal / Mission

The goal of Project SHINE is to build strong, healthy, and sustainable communities by fostering positive growth and relationships among its participants.

Results / Accomplishments

Since 1997, SHINE has partnered with 31 colleges and universities and over 200 ethnic, community and faith-based organizations in 18 cities across the country. Faculty have incorporated service-learning through SHINE into more than 1000 courses in a variety of disciplines. Over 9000 students have provided more than 150,000 hours of service to almost 40,000 older immigrants through Project SHINE with support from Learn and Serve America.

Project SHINE was also nominated Model Program by Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Patience Lehrman, Director
Center for Intergenerational Learning
Temple University
1601 N. Broad Street, Room 206, USB
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215)- 204 3212
Social Environment / Social & Civic Involvement
Education / Educational Attainment in Adult Population
Social Environment / Neighborhood/Community Attachment
Temple University Center for Intergenerational Learning
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Target Audience
Teens, Elderly, Racial/Ethnic Minorities
Additional Audience
Immigrants and Refugees