JWU Recognized Nationally for Community Service
img Magazine Community Title Story Spring 2008

For the fourth year in a row, all four of Johnson & Wales University’s campuses were named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The North Miami, Denver and Charlotte campuses were three of 391 schools named as Honor Roll members, and the Providence Campus is one of 127 schools named to the Honor Roll With Distinction.

“It is no small achievement that all four JWU campuses have been recognized for their commitment to service-learning and civic engagement,” said University President John J. Bowen ’77. “The JWU community has always placed a high priority on the rich tradition of volunteerism.”

The honor roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees are chosen based on project scope, innovation, student participation, incentives for service, and service-learning courses offered.

“Americans rely on our higher education system to prepare students for citizenship and the workforce. We look to institutions like these to provide leadership in partnering with local schools to shape the civic, democratic and economic future of our country,” U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said in recognizing the achievement.

JWU community service targets education, hunger and homelessness. As part of the award application, each campus sent examples of service projects. In Providence, that included “Voices on Violence: Perspectives on Peace,” a research and filmmaking project. Students interviewed convicts, ex-gang members, victims, students, law enforcement officials and educators about topics surrounding violence. The resulting documentary is being used for training and fund-raising by the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, in Providence.

For the fourth year in a row the North Miami Campus’ 5,000 Role Models of Excellence project focused on minority at-risk boys ages nine to 19 from Miami-Dade County. Participants toured the campus and heard about programs in business, culinary arts and hospitality, and tried their hands at cooking in the culinary classrooms.

Each November, students and staff at the Denver Campus prepare and serve Thanksgiving dinner for more than 3,000 homeless, shelter residents, housebound, and elderly. Based at Rosa Linda’s Mexican Café, campus assistants worked closely with owner Oscar Javier Aguirre ’02 to provide a hot, nutritious meal to people in need.

In partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB) of Metrolina, the Charlotte Campus established the Kid’s Café Meal Preparation Program. Using food products donated by the food bank, students and faculty prepare healthy, delicious meals that are wrapped, labeled and frozen. Five day-long cooking sessions during the 2006–2007 academic year amassed 8,000 meals for local youngsters who face hunger on a daily basis.