Tag: Volunteer and Community Service Center

Lawrence University Honoring Boys & Girls Club at 5th Annual Report to the Community

A Fox Cities partnership that has grown steadily stronger for 15 years will be honored Tuesday, Oct. 22 by Lawrence University during the college’s fifth annual Report to the Community.

Lawrence President Mark Burstein will present the annual Lawrence University Collaboration in Action Award to the Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Cities in ceremonies that begin at 8 a.m. in the Warch Campus Center.

Boys_Girls-Club_newsblog3Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence conservatory of music, will serve as the event’s emcee and Ron Dunlap, retired administrator for the Appleton Area School District and current CESA 6 state coordinator of CREATE Wisconsin, will share thoughts on the state of education in the Fox Valley as the program’s keynote speaker.

Lawrence’s Collaboration in Action Award recognizes an individual or organization, who, in partnership with Lawrence, has provided exemplary service to the Fox Cities community through strategic vision, leadership influence, long-standing commitment and enthusiasm, financial contributions and/or volunteerism.

“We want to thank the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley for their long and substantial collaboration which has provided Lawrence students with learning experiences and opportunities to serve the greater community,” said Burstein. “We are confident their volunteer activity has made a positive impact on their programs and those they serve.  We hope this service will be a basis for future collaborations.”

Since opening in 1998, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley has established itself as a leader and advocate for youth development throughout the Fox Cities. Lawrence, with its own mission of developing young people into responsible, engaged citizens, has long sought ways to complement and enhance the efforts of the Boys & Girls Club. The mutually beneficial relationship has enriched youth programming at the Club, while providing Lawrence students with valuable leadership and experiential learning opportunities.

Making Lives Richer, Brighter

During the 2012-13 academic year, 173 Lawrence volunteers, interns and students were involved in community-based learning activities at the Club.

“From the waves of students who came to inform and inspire on Martin Luther King Day this past year to the academic research conducted by students and professors on the impact of the Club on young lives, from powerful mentorship to young people in need through groups like Beautiful You African American Girls’ Group, to the many Lawrence students who have chosen to learn about human services and work at one of our Club locations, the contributions have been many,” said Greg Lemke-Rochon,  chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Club. “They’ve surprised us by their generosity and creativity, and they’ve made the lives of those we serve richer and brighter.”

The Lawrence partnership with the Boys & Girls Club reached a new level four years ago with a concerted focus on increasing enrichment activities for K-12 youth. With support from the Midwest Campus Compact Citizen-Scholar AmeriCorps Program, Lawrence placed a student volunteer coordinator at the Boys & Girls Club, which helped increase the number of students engaged in a diverse range of programming. The Self Agency in Youth (SAY) initiative, launched in 2012, provides tutoring and mentoring through two support groups — Hmong Youth Pride and Empowerment (HYPE) and Beautiful You African American Girls Group — for the Clubs’ ethnically diverse teenagers.LU_Boys-and-Girls-Club_newsblog2

Approximately 20 Lawrence students volunteer each week with the SAY program, which offers minority teens a sanctuary for self-expression and open discussions of their futures without fear of being judged by their ethnicity or background.

Beautiful You African American Girls’ Group provides African American teen girls a supportive environment for discussing self-respect, self-confidence and race, while also learning about resume writing and college visits. HYPE offers Hmong youth a similar support network.

“Helping “Break the Cycle”

Jerry Overstreet, The CLUB Teen Center coordinator, called the Lawrence student volunteers “a tremendous addition to all of our current The CLUB Teen Center programs and mentoring relationships.

“Our relationship with Lawrence has provided low-income and at-risk youth with socialization skills, academic guidance and positive role models that we hope can help them ‘break the cycle,'” said Overstreet.

Previous winners of Lawrence’s Collaboration in Action Award include the Mielke Family Foundation (2010), YMCA of the Fox Cities (2011) and the  Appleton Area School District (2012).

Previous winners of Lawrence’s Collaboration in Action Award include the Mielke Family Foundation (2010), YMCA of the Fox Cities (2011) and the  Appleton Area School District (2012).

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Lawrence University Named to National Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

For the sixth consecutive year, Lawrence University has been named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Lawrence is one of only two Wisconsin institutions that has been recognized every year by the Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) since it launched the program in 2006.

The honor roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities on issues ranging from supporting at-risk youth to neighborhood revitalization.

During the 2010-11 academic year, 967 Lawrence students provided more than 27,400 service hours to community volunteer and service-learning programs, including completion of student-teaching requirements for certification.

Honorees are chosen on the basis of several factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

Lawrence was among 642 colleges and universities honored for their impact on issues of literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.

“Community engagement and service is a distinguishable characteristic of the Lawrence educational experience and it speaks to the dedication of our students to once again be nationally recognized for their efforts,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck.

Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was cited:

A research initiative supported by the Mielke Foundation that evaluated the effects of after-school programming on confidence, problem-solving and creativity. Professor of Psychology Beth Haines collaborated with UW Fox Valley, the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley and the Building for Kids Children’s Museum. Lawrence students provide the enrichment at the BFK, assess the children’s development and assist in the analysis of the data, which will be used to develop more effective after-school programming and make better use of volunteer resources.

The Volunteers in Tutoring at Lawrence (VITAL) Program, a student-run initiative providing free tutoring services to area K-12 students, with a priority placed on disadvantaged students who may not have the financial means for other tutoring services. Lawrence volunteers work with students in need of help in academic subjects ranging from basic math to linguistics. VITAL is the area’s only free tutoring program that accepts all applicants.

The Lawrence Academy of Music, which strengthens children’s creativity, self-esteem, teamwork and leadership skills through comprehensive music instruction and performance opportunities for K-12 students. Last year the Academy’s Young Band Program, which provides free regular band instruction at Appleton’s Lincoln Elementary School, was expanded to also include band instruction at Edison Elementary School.

“This honor belongs to everyone at Lawrence who goes that extra step to reach out to the community and meet our neighbors’ needs,” said Monica Rico, Lawrence’s Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of the college’s Office for Engaged Learning. “I’m grateful to all of our inspiring students, faculty and staff, especially the Director of Volunteer and Community Service, Kristi Hill. The leadership that she has provided, along with the commitment of my faculty colleagues and our outstanding students, has once again earned us this important recognition.”

According to the CNCS, a federal agency, 3.1 million students performed more than 312 million hours of service across the country, providing services valued at $6.6 billion.

The CNCS compiles the President’s Community Service Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

About Lawrence University

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.

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MLK Day of Service Generated More than 500 Volunteer Hours

Lawrence University students, faculty, staff and local alumni did their part to turn the annual Martin Luther King holiday from a day off to a day of service.

Working with several local organizations, including the Appleton Boys and Girls Club and the Appleton school district, 169 Lawrence volunteers contributed 507 hours of service on Monday (1/16).

A total of 630 area students participated in a special age-appropriate curriculum focused on diversity and social justice issues that was developed by Marika Straw ’13.  The program, led by Lawrence volunteers, included a variety of hands-on activities to bring Dr. King’s message to area youth.

“The students chose to focus their efforts this year on supporting youth in the community and were very pleased to partner with all seven local after-school sites of the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley,” said Kristi Hill, LU director of volunteer and community service programs. “Lawrentians are very involved with both this organization and the Appleton Area School District and seem to be increasingly concerned by the lack of funding and overall support of educational initiatives. In response, our students worked with club staff to develop activities that would allow Lawrentians to support K-12 youth and give the hard working staff of the club a bit of a break.

Gabrielle Rakidzich '15 (left) and Emily Crowe '14 were among 169 LU volunteers who participated in Monday's Martin Luther King Day of Service activities. (Photo by Emma Moss '13.)

“I can say with absolutely certainty that Lawrentians gained just as much from this day as the youth,” Hill added.  “Students returned to campus with both humorous stories and some more serious stories of important discussions that occurred around the topic of fairness.”

In addition to school activities, a team of volunteers repainted an affordable housing unit owned by the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities while 16 students helped winterize the Heckrodt Nature Center.

About Lawrence University

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.

Annual Community Celebration Honors Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life, Legacy

Dorothy Cotton, the only female member of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, executive staff and one of his closest confidants, delivers the keynote address at the 21st annual community celebration of the late civil rights leader Monday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.  The event is free and open to the public.

Dorothy Cotton

With the theme “Martin Luther King Jr.:  This Life and Legacy,” the celebration is presented by Lawrence University and Toward Community: Unity in Diversity with the support of numerous Fox Valley organizations, churches and individuals. The Post-Crescent is a media partner for the event.

The community celebration is in conjunction with Lawrence’s annual Martin Luther King “Day of Service,” which offers volunteer opportunities for students, faculty and staff.  Part of this year’s activities includes a report on the recent “Life Study of the Fox Cities” at 11:30 a.m. in the Warch Campus Center.

“Everyone wants to leave his or her own mark on the world as we strive to live a meaningful and purposeful life,” said Pa Lee Moua, assistant dean of students for multicultural affairs at Lawrence.  “Once we are gone, we hope to be remembered as heroes. In my opinion, there is no greater hero than someone who fights for the rights of others. Martin Luther King Jr. is truly a hero who continues to teach us the true meaning of love, peace and social justice.

Moua credits her father for instilling in her many of the values embraced by Dr. King.

“As a very influential man in my life, my father told me, ‘Respect and reputation doesn’t come from being too rich, educated, or powerful; it comes from being a humanitarian. You will never regret giving your time to someone in need. And as you grow older, you will look back and forever cherish these experiences because you will have already made your mark on the world.’”

Cotton began making her mark in the early 1960s as the education director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where she provided training for the disenfranchised on the importance of political participation, voter registration and nonviolent protest. In 1964, she accompanied King to Oslo, Norway, where he was presented the Nobel Peace Prize. Following King’s assassination, she served as the vice president for field operations for the Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta and became Southern Regional Director for ACTION, the federal agency for volunteer programs.

A native of North Carolina, Cotton has addressed issues of race relations, multiculturalism/diversity, personal development and nonviolence education around the world. Following more than 20 years engaged in civil rights activities, Cotton spent 10 years as director of student activities at Cornell University. She also is one of the founding members of the National Citizenship School, which focuses creating publicly accountable institutions that reflect high democratic ideals and support individual capacity to live a meaningful life.

“Having Ms. Cotton as our keynote speaker is a rare and rich opportunity for the Fox Valley,” said Kathy Flores, chair of the MLK Planning Committee and diversity coordinator for the city of Appleton. “While many people participated in marches during the Civil Rights era, Ms. Cotton had the honor of working side-by-side with Dr. King as a member of his staff. We hope many members of the community take advantage of her appearance and come hear her share her real-life experiences with us.”

In addition to Cotton’s remarks, the King celebration will feature the presentation of the annual Jane LaChapelle McCarty Unity in Diversity Award. Given by Toward Community, the award honors an area individual who has made great strides in bringing different people in the community together.

The celebration also features readings by area student winners of the annual Martin Luther King essay contest and musical performances led by Tim and Ezra Dorsey and 2008 Lawrence graduate Erica Hamilton.

A sign language interpreter will be present for the program and a reception for all in attendance follows the event.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries. For more information visit www.lawrence.edu or follow us on Facebook.

Community Poverty Simulation Workshop Raises Awareness on Low Income Challenges

An interactive workshop designed to raise awareness of the challenges faced by low-income people and better understand the issues and emotions behind the statistics of poverty will be conducted Wednesday, Oct. 26 from 7-10 p.m. in Lawrence University’s Warch Campus Center.

Community members are invited to join Lawrence students, faculty and staff in a poverty simulation in which they will assume the roles of families dealing with economic hardship.  Interested participants are asked to register in advance.

During the workshop, participants will be assigned to different “families” who are facing various obstacles: some are recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), some are recently deserted by the household “breadwinner” while others are senior citizens living solely on Social Security benefits.

Role-playing families attempt to provide basic necessities and shelter while navigating community resources such as banks, grocery stores and utility companies over the course of four 15-minute “weeks.” A debriefing session in which participants share their feelings about the learning experience follows the exercise.

“The Poverty Simulation will give participants a chance to understand poverty right here in Appleton,” said Chuck Demler, AmeriCorps VISTA Service Learning Coordinator at Lawrence. “We’ll unearth poverty issues hidden right around us.”

Although not an official part of Lawrence’s current month-long “Engaging Human Rights” series, the simulation offers participants an opportunity to actively learn more about social justice and human rights issues as they apply to life in the Fox Valley. As many as 40 percent of students in the Fox Valley come from households that have incomes low enough to qualify them for free or reduced price meals at school.

The workshop is sponsored by Lawrence’s Office of Engaged Learning, the Lawrence Volunteer and Community Service Center and CAP Services, Inc. Founded under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, CAP Services began as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” The organization, which serves Outagamie, Marquette, Portage, Waupaca and Waushara counties, seeks “a permanent increase in the ability of low-income individuals to become economically and emotionally self-sufficient.”

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,520 students from 44 states and 56 countries.

Lawrence University Freshmen Head “Into the Streets”

Members of Lawrence University’s class of 2015 will become better acquainted with their new hometown Saturday, September 10, when they head into the streets of Appleton for an afternoon of volunteering.

The 363 first-year students arrived in Appleton this week from 26 different states and 21 different countries. The Into the Streets program is designed to help them understand the needs of the community they will call home for the next four years.

“The program is a great introduction to the community,” said Kristi Hill, director of volunteer and community service programs. “Participating in a group service project allows students a comfortable approach to becoming involved in the community and may motivate future interests in career and volunteer options, expand social connections, and to learn more about community needs.”

The Lawrence students will volunteer at the following organizations:

Lawrence students will help with cleaning, unloading, taking inventory, planting, harvesting, landscaping, bowling with senior citizens and constructing a greenhouse alongside homeless shelter residents.

Lawrence University’s mission emphasizes preparing students for “responsible and meaningful citizenship” and the Into the Streets Program is one of dozens of community service events that Lawrence University students participate in annually.

LU Students Turning Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service into a Day On, Not a Day Off

More than 100 Lawrence University students are expected to take advantage of a day free of classes by participating in various community projects Monday, Jan. 18 as part of 2010’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

Coordinated by Lawrence’s Volunteer and Community Service Center (VCSC), students will volunteer several hours of their time Monday (12:30-3:30 p.m.) with nearly a dozen different programs and agencies in the Fox Cities.

MLK-Day-of-Service-logo-web.gifSome of the volunteer projects include working with Rebuilding Together Fox Valley to paint and clean at Holy Spirit School in Kimberly, helping prepare a meal at the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley and assisting the Appleton Housing Authority renovate a duplex.

As many as 30 students will be involved in a diversity activity with students at Appleton’s Richmond Elementary School.

Kristi Hill, Lawrence’s coordinator of internships and volunteer programs said it takes dedicated student leaders and collaborative community agencies to make the MLK Day of Service possible.

“This year we have created strong relationships with 12 community agencies that are hosting a Lawrence AmeriCorps member serving in a volunteer liaison capacity,” said Hill. “This partnership has resulted in some well-planned community projects. Both the Lawrence Volunteer and Community Service Center and the Day of Service are entirely student-led, which speaks volumes of the passion our students have for the Fox Valley community.”

Sophomore Brenda Zuleger, the VCSC’s events coordinator, said the MLK Day of Service “provides a great opportunity for both Lawrence students and the Appleton community to connect and serve the needs of others.”

“Lawrence students learn a little bit more about the service organizations throughout Appleton on their day off from classes while making a difference in someone else’s life. That is truly a phenomenal feeling.”

The Day of Service also includes a volunteer fair coordinated by the VCSC from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center featuring representatives from 40 area agencies and several Lawrence student organizations with a service focus.

A presentation on VCSC summer volunteer opportunity grants will be conducted in the Warch Center’s Kraemer Conference Room from 4-5 p.m. Lawrence seniors J.B. Sivanich, who taught English to academically talented children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds in Bangalore, India; Rebecca Bohl, who served as an intern for the Guatemala Human Rights Commission in Washington D.C.; Sylvie Armstrong, who worked as a dog adoption coordinator for Saving Paws Animal Rescue near Appleton; and Zachary Becker, who worked on the Ramchander Nath Foundation’s prisoner art project in New Delhi, India, will discuss their experiences as 2009 summer volunteer opportunity grant recipients.

The day’s events conclude with the 19th annual community-wide Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel at 6:30 p.m. Rev. Wanda Washington, pastor of Grace United Church of Christ in Milwaukee, will serve as the celebration’s keynote speaker.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service was founded in 1994 to transform the federal holiday honoring King into a national day of community service grounded in the civil rights leader’s teachings of nonviolence and social justice.

Homelessness Issues Examined in Lawrence University Panel Presentation

Homelessness in America has been called “one of the most misunderstood and least documented social policy issues of our time” by Political Science Quarterly.

Today, an estimated 3.5 million people experience homelessness annually in this country and 1.35 million of those are children. More than half of all homeless families have been homeless for six months or longer. According to the Institute for Children and Poverty, the average age of a homeless person in the United States is nine. Across the nation, experts estimate that in any given community, one percent of the population is “at risk” of becoming homeless.

Lawrence University will examine the issue of homelessness and the ways people can make a difference toward solving the problem in the panel presentation “Homelessness Today, Housing Tomorrow” Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Underground Coffeehouse of the Lawrence Memorial Union. The program and is free and open to the public.

Sharing their perspectives on the issue will be Debra Cronmiller, director of the Fox Valley Emergency Shelter in Appleton, who will discuss the extent of the homelessness situation locally and the efforts being made to address the situation in the Fox Valley area; Ed Shurna, the executive director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, who will outline the coalition’s work and the importance of community efforts to combat homelessness; Larry Hamilton, a former homeless person himself who is now an activist in Chicago working on behalf of rights for the homeless; and Jeff Newton, a volunteer for the Chicago Coalition who is currently homeless and who will offer a first-person account of the challenges facing a homeless person and just how susceptible many people are to falling into that lifestyle.

The program is sponsored by the Lawrence University Volunteer and Community Service Center with support from the Class of 1965 Student Activity Fund.