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One goal of service and community-based learning is to produce students who are more tightly engaged in the larger communities surrounding their institutions. Drawing on data from three courses, we argue that an asset-based approach plays a role in creating authentic campus-community partnerships that strive to engage students as members of the community from the outset and throughout their service learning courses. Asset-based activities help students come to understand the value of relationships amongst community members while also underscoring the value of their individual role in this group. As such, students are more prepared for future work within the community.