UNCG Lives Up to its Motto: Service

Posted on December 17, 2014

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Frannie Williams ’13, center, and other students help out during the 2013 MLK Day of Service.

For the second straight year, UNCG has made the President’s Higher Education and Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction. This year, UNCG also appears on the Economic Opportunity Community Service Honor Roll shortlist.

The 2014 Community Service Honor Roll list includes 770 American colleges and universities.Of those institutions, 120 — including UNCG — were singled out for distinction.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has named UNCG to its annual Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since the award’s inception in 2006. The honor represents the highest federal recognition a school can receive for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement.

“UNCG’s long-standing motto of ‘Service’ speaks directly to the importance that this university places in serving our community,” said Dr. Cheryl M. Callahan, vice chancellor for Student Affairs. “As an institution, we are committed to service and our students, faculty and staff are serving others on a daily basis. We appreciate this recognition and pledge to continue living our motto.”

Between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, 11,549 UNCG students completed 812,581 hours of service. UNCG’s application to CNCS details several noteworthy service projects fostered by the university. Among them:

  • Dancers Connect serves the UNCG community by offering free dance classes for children in the community, ages 7-11. Graduate students developed the curriculum, and both graduate and undergraduate students participate in the teaching.
  • Write-on Greensboro partners with nonprofits to provide free creative writing workshops to community groups. The program is coordinated and executed entirely by MFA students, and partners with community groups from retirement homes and Hospice to the Interactive Resource Center (a day center for the homeless) to refugee support organizations and the Mental Health Association.
  • Campus Recreation’s Love Your Heart/Healthy Foods program serves the Greensboro community by sending students who are certified Group Exercise Instructors and Personal Trainers to present lifelong physical activity classes to K-12 students at local schools.

Several other programs also pushed UNCG onto the Economic Opportunity Honor Roll, which includes 82 American colleges and universities.These programs include:

  • Through the Access program at the Center for New North Carolinians, students teach English as a Second Language to immigrants and refugees to help prepare them for the job market. Students also provide coaching, resume building, cultural training, mock interviews and computer training to refugees and immigrants.During the 2012-13 academic year, 65 clients found jobs as a direct result of the work of UNCG students.
  • Empowerment Fund Greensboro provides micro loans to Greensboro citizens who are homeless. The participants are clients of the Interactive Resource Center in Greensboro. The program provides training, business plan development, implementation assistance and support, and micro loans to IRC clients. The project involves students in the social entrepreneurship course at UNCG, a new student-run organization also called called Empowerment Fund Greensboro, local funders, community partners and the university.
  • Several courses offered through the Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNCG offer expertise in economic development to a variety of non-profit organizations in the Greensboro community. Students in ENT 300 develop business plans for start-up ventures such as the Christmas Stars program at Shalom Community Christian Church. Another group of students work for the Industries for the Blind (IOB), a non-profit organization that provides employment opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired. Students worked on a capstone to determine how IOB could provide more training on life skills so that their clients can be more functional in society.

CNCS manages the Honor Roll program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.

For more on service-learning and community engagement at UNCG, visit http://olsl.uncg.edu/ or http://communityengagement.uncg.edu/.

Story by Michelle Hines, University Relations
Reposted from UNCG News & Features

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