Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Making a Difference: Ignite Serves

The Mission

Ignite Serves is based in the Center for Leadership & Service and is geared toward incoming students who have an interest in volunteerism and leadership. The goal is to engage first-year students in community service, begin to develop student’s leadership skills and help them make a connection with a variety of local non-profit agencies and the University of Tennessee community. Students also engage in discussions about social justice, community building, personal values and other leadership development topics as a way of reflecting on their service experiences. The Ignite program has been on campus since 2001. Ignite Serves was added in 2013, and serves 500 incoming students.

The Partners


Knoxville Community partners include Second Harvest Food Bank, Knoxville College, KARM, Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, City of Knoxville – Urban Forestry, Knoxville Zoo, Random Acts of Flowers, Goodwill, Manor House, SEEED, Beardsley Community Farm, The Children’s Center of Knoxville, Young Williams Animal Center, CAPP Coalition on America’s Poor Health and Poverty and Ijams Nature Center. University of Tennessee partners include the Office of Sustainability and UT Recycling.

Impact on UT

As a result of their participation in Ignite Serves, students learn to identify community needs in Knoxville and the appropriate means by which to serve these needs. Students’ outcomes include the ability to describe three University of Tennessee traditions, to identify three effects diversity has on our community, to demonstrate increased knowledge of leadership practices and principles, and to identify as an active and engaged citizen.

Impact on Community

Ignite provides over 50 local non-profits with 3,850 hours of free, energetic and passionate student volunteers over a span of two days. Students are able to complete projects for which these agencies typically do not have the person power to complete. Hundreds of Knoxville community members benefit from the work that students complete during this week-long program.

Related Story

Igniting Service and Leadership on Campus


Leadership and Service
CLS on Facebook
Follow Lead&Serve@UTK


The Center for Leadership and Service, or call 865-974-1039