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Service Initiatives Earn National Recognition
Service initiatives on anti-bullying, mental health, afterschool programs, and housing earned accolades for Bentley. For the seventh year, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) named Bentley University to the President's 2013 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Bentley is one of 34 Massachusetts colleges and universities to be honored.
The award recognizes the initiatives of the Bentley Service-Learning Center (BSLC), which promotes academic learning through service.
“While the internal integrity of our program and our ability to meet our students’ and our partners’ needs are by far what matters most to us, it is nonetheless gratifying to be recognized by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the official “voice” of service-learning at the federal level,” says BSLC Director Edward Zlotkowski.
The following programs were noted:
- One Goal, One Community: This anti-bullying program aims to provide a new and creative approach for bullying awareness based on the participants’ own thoughts and experiences as well as the facts, figures, techniques and tools drawn from domestic and international literature on the topic area. The goal is to inspire communities to take a stand against bullying by broadening the scope of anti-bullying education and awareness through channels such as drama, rallies, trainings, and workshops.
- Volunteer efforts with local mental health and disability organizations: Edinburg Center in Waltham, Mass.; Greater Waltham Arc (GWarc); Minute Man Arc in Concord, Mass.; Project Eye-To-Eye in Waltham; and the Special Olympics in Belmont, Mass.
- Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance Student: Bentley students worked with Bentley alum John Yazwinski ’94, president and CEO of Father Bill’s & MainSpring on Boston’s south shore, to help determine the cost of providing services to homeless individuals.
- At two shelters, the team observed important operational processes, including food preparation and serving, client intake, and triage to determine new client needs.
- give a year: Bentley and City Year joined forces in 2008 to launch the "give a year" program to encourage students to give a year of full-time service through City Year and receive scholarship support to Bentley and subsequent internship opportunities. As part of the program, Bentley provides $20,000 scholarships to defray the cost of tuition upon the return to campus for each "give a year" student.
- Chesterbrook Learning Center (Waltham, Maas) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Waltham, Woburn, and Stoneham, Mass.: Bentley students serve as role models and mentors at these after school programs, which provide homework help, academic enrichment, snacks, and entertainment in the form of outdoor activities and arts and crafts. Bentley students also aim to help participants realize that college is an option for their future.
CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve.
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.