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Syracuse University receives Presidential Award for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances
Syracuse University receives Presidential Award for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged CircumstancesFebruary 12, 2008Kevin C. Quinnkcquinn@syr.edu
Syracuse University has been honored by the Corporation for National and Community Service with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and is one of only three colleges and universities nationwide to receive the Presidential Award for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances. The recognitions were announced Monday at the American Council on Education (ACE) annual conference in San Diego.
Launched in 2006, the Honor Roll’s Presidential Award is the highest recognition an educational institution can achieve for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the institution offers academic service-learning courses.
“Our Scholarship in Action vision creates opportunities for students and faculty to engage the world and help address the pressing issues of our time,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “We’re honored that our University’s commitment to public engagement — be it locally, nationally or globally — is being recognized at the highest level.”
SU’s notable community service achievements include Syracuse University Literacy Corps, a program that pairs college tutors with youth from 25 elementary and secondary schools. Through the program, more than 85 percent of participating youth demonstrated improvement in academic skills, social attitudes, self-esteem and community involvement.
Another University program provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to work in a New York City high school developing leadership programs. Students develop peer mediation, before and after school tutoring and extra-curricular programs.
“Syracuse students are a sterling example of today’s college students who are tackling the toughest problems in America, demonstrating their compassion, commitment and creativity by serving as mentors, tutors, health workers and even engineers,” says David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, who presented the award. “They represent a renewed spirit of civic engagement fostered by outstanding leadership on caring campuses.”
In congratulating the winners, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said: “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.”
In addition to SU, the Presidential Award for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances was given to Chaminade University of Honolulu and the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif. The Presidential Award for General Community Service went to Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Pennsylvania.
The Honor Roll also recognized four institutions as Special Achievement Award winners, 127 as Honor Roll with Distinction members and 391 schools as Honor Roll members. In total, 528 institutions were recognized. A full list is available at http://www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.
ACE CEO David Ward noted how impressed he was with the commitment of all the award winners. “There is no question that the universities and colleges who have made an effort to participate and win the Honor Roll award are themselves being rewarded today,” says Ward. “Earning this distinction is not easy. But now each of these schools will be able to wear this award like a badge of honor.”
The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps and the Presidents Council on Service and Civic Participation.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations.
For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov.