By Melinda HillFor the third consecutive year, each Johnson & Wales University campus was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a school can attain for service learning and civic engagement. During the 2007–2008 academic year, students from the four campuses collectively performed 71,993 hours of community service.
Service to others became integral to the JWU experience and curriculum in 1995 at the Providence Campus with the support of philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein ’94 Hon., and the determination of University President John Yena ’04 Hon. JWU’s regional campuses followed, creating their own community service initiatives. Today, supporting the community through service is a common thread among all campuses with a particular focus on hunger, homelessness and education.
And while all campuses are equally committed to their communities, each has its own unique history and programs. At the Providence Campus, selected as one of 81 schools to be profiled in The Princeton Review’s “Colleges with a Conscience,” students helped at food banks, taught nutrition classes at farmer’s markets and senior centers, beautified disadvantaged neighborhoods, and mentored students in the past year. In North Miami, the campus community partnered with local law enforcement agencies to fight crime, and helped with a dropout intervention program for minority, at-risk boys. Denver staged a symposium on the prevention of school violence and sent more than 200 students, staff and faculty into the community to assist nonprofits on Courage to Care Day. In Charlotte, students coordinated volunteers to build with Habitat for Humanity and raised tens of thousands of dollars for charities.
Community service is ingrained in all levels of the university culture. Through their experiences helping others, our students are prepared to be strong, ethical leaders in their daily lives, their future professions and their own communities even as they contribute to JWU's legacy as a responsible and caring neighbor.