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Bentley, City Year Launch Partnership
This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
Students give a year, gain opportunity
The increased call for social responsibility has organizations hunting for leaders with a keen sense of civic duty. A new partnership between Bentley and City Year aims to groom those leaders, by making service a more central part of the academic experience.
Through the first-of-its-kind “give a year” partnership, students will put a temporary hold on their formal education to pursue hands-on volunteer ventures. Participating Bentley students will serve the community while also receiving scholarship support from the university and internship opportunities with leading global organizations.
“We’re providing an opportunity for students to build skills on a personal and professional level, by bringing an ethical and social component to their education.” says Franklyn Salimbene, who directs the nationally recognized Bentley Service-Learning Center.
Students apply to Bentley and to City Year. Those chosen are designated as National Service Scholars and receive a $20,000 scholarship at Bentley. The university will award up to 10 scholarships a year for undergraduate or graduate study to those who are accepted into the program and complete the service year. Each student is also eligible to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $4,725, following the year of service. Other benefits include include a monthly stipend during the volunteer commitment.
Beliefs Meet Resources
Long popular in Europe, a “gap year” for service and other non-traditional learning activities is taking off with young Americans. Many colleges and universities are on board with the trend.
“As a service-learning pioneer, Bentley works to prepare future business leaders with the skills and the values needed to solve world problems,” says President Gloria Cordes Larson. “I can’t think of a better way to accomplish that goal. We are putting resources into something we truly believe in -- $1 million in scholarships underscores that commitment.”
The “give a year” partnership will be part of the admission process for the 2009-2010 academic year. Participants from Bentley will join 1,650 City Year corps members in 18 locations across the United States and one site in South Africa, furthering their work to make a difference in children’s lives as tutors, mentors and role models.
According to Rob Gordon, senior vice president of civic leadership at City Year, the partnership is custom made for young people who are passionate about serving their community. “It will connect academic institutions to the national service movement in a very powerful way.”
“Future leaders will have both an excellent business education and an intensive civic leadership experience,” observes City Year Co-founder and CEO Michael Brown. “Organizations are looking for the kind of leadership this partnership will foster.”
Alison Davis-Blake, the former business school dean at the Universities of Michigan and Minnesota, was inaugurated as the eighth president of Bentley University in a ceremony attended by students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the extended Bentley community.