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Bentley Service-Learning Center Students to Help Homeless People in Florida During Winter Break

December 21, 1999


WALTHAM, Mass. - Bentley Service-Learning Center (BSLC) is coordinating an Alternative Winter Break January 10 to January 17, 2000. Thirteen students and two staff members from Bentley College will volunteer at Anthony House, a homeless shelter for men, women and families in Zellwood, Fla. Projects will include serving meals, computer tutoring, caring for and playing with day care children, engaging in arts and crafts programs with kids in the afterschool program, and building benches for an outdoor basketball court.

BSLC teaches students to integrate traditional classroom learning with hands-on, course-related work in the community. Established in 1990 and possibly the nation's largest service program at a business school, BSLC provides service scholarships and work positions to students who serve as participant consultants using skills learned in the arts and sciences and business curriculums. The benefits are two-fold; students gain valuable experience, and their contributions have a positive impact in the Waltham, Mass., and Greater Boston communities.

"The Alternative Winter Break in Florida allows students to reach out and give back to a global community. In addition, it is a good opportunity to compare and contrast the needs of people in the same country, but a different culture," said Sally Gerencser, BSLC VISTA Corps staff member.

The program in January will be BSLC's third alternative week break. During spring break '98, 12 Bentley students and three staff traveled to Appalachia, Macon County, North Carolina, to work with the Macon Program for Progress to rehabilitate existing homes and to work with impoverished children in Head Start and infant-toddler day care programs. During spring break '99, 15 Bentley students and two staff members went to Narrows, Virginia, to assist in renovating affordable housing for a community in need. Students worked on everything from mudding walls to painting and drop ceilings and whatever other tasks that needed to be done to make these buildings an enjoyable living space for families in need. Some of the students also had the opportunity to go into the local schools and work with children.

"BSLC strives to instill in students a sensitivity to cultural and intellectual diversity, as well as the capacity to be collaborative while maintaining a strong sense of personal responsibility," said Rob Koulish, director of BSLC and assistant professor of Government at Bentley College. "During the two past Alternative Week Break experiences, students enjoyed and found rewarding physical construction work, the satisfaction of completing projects, and getting to know members of the local community while gaining a deeper understanding of the world around them."

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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