Each year, hundreds of Yale alumni, students, staff, family, and friends take part in Yale Day of Service, giving back to local communities across the country and around the world. In this series, we’ll be spotlighting a few of those Yalies, who discuss how they got involved and what service means to them.

This week, we feature Aliyar Fouladkhah ’14 MPH who, below, shares why he prioritizes service through Yale and encourages others to join. 

How did you become part of Yale’s alumni service community?

I find Yale alumni an amazing community to meet like-minded colleagues who are passionate about returning to the society and making a difference. I am fascinated by diversity of the alumni members – some graduated from 1970s and others are recently crowned Yale graduates.

Tell us a story that exemplifies service for you. Or perhaps a favorite Yale Day of Service memory.

After graduating from Yale School of Public Health, I had the opportunity to attend Yale Day of Service every year after graduation. It is hard for me to choose only one as all the events I attended were memorable and impactful. With that being said, looking back, the one that is standing out in mind was the virtual program held in 2020 when we had a chance to hold discussions and mentoring sessions for high school students who were first generation in their families in attempting to initiate a higher education degree.

Why is service through Yale a priority for you?

In recent years, I had a chance to serve on community outreach projects in Japan, South Africa, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica. In every corner of the world I saw how our alma mater is respected and beloved. As an individual that received the opportunity to attend arguably the best higher education institution in the country, I consider community service a moral obligation.

During the Yale Day of Service, all of us from different generations and various regions of the country and world get together to celebrate public service, thoughtfulness, and community outreach. This is a remarkable opportunity to return to our society.

What would you say to a fellow alum about meaningful reasons to get involved in Yale service activities?

If you would like to make a difference and if you would like to return to the community that you left, I cordially invite you to join us all for the Yale Day of Service. You will meet amazing and kind-hearted people and will have the opportunity to be involved in a potentially life-changing community-based project. 


To find a service project near you, visit our 2022 Yale Day of Service project page.

And visit our Spotlight on Service page to see all the service spotlight conversations.

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