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Two community members to be honored by Hendricks Chapel with Spirit of Lanterns Awards on May 2
Two community members to be honored by Hendricks Chapel with Spirit of Lanterns Awards on May 2April 29, 2008Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Two individuals whose commitment to service and issues of social justice have inspired Syracuse University students and encouraged them to reflect on the meaning of service in their own lives will be honored with the Spirit of Lanterns Awards from Hendricks Chapel’s Office of Community Engagement and Integrative Learning on Friday, May 2.
The presentation will begin at 6 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel and is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the University’s Q1 lot.
The honorees are Virginia “Ginny” Donohue, executive director of On Point for College, and Dick Ford, executive director of Signature Syracuse.
In keeping with the tradition of the Spirit of Lanterns Awards, a portrait of each honoree was created by Chelsea Cramer, a graduate student in art education in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Education. Narratives for the portraits have been written by Alanna Rosenberg, assistant director of the Office of Community Engagement and Integrative Learning and a student in the M.P.A. program in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
When linked together, the portraits and narratives are meant to tell the story of each individual and his or her work. The exhibit will be displayed in Hendricks Chapel and will travel throughout the Central New York community.
“This year’s awardees are passionate people who do not wait around for others to create change. They identified a need in our community and have worked tirelessly to make change happen,” says Rachael Gazdick, director of the Office of Community Engagement and Integrative Learning at Hendricks Chapel. “Because of their passion, vision and commitment, countless young people in the city of Syracuse will have access to higher education.”
The Spirit of Lanterns Award was established in 2000 in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the former Students Offering Service (SOS) office in Hendricks Chapel. The award is based on the ideals written about in “Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors” (Beacon Press, 1999), a book by Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman. Twenty-two people have received the award since its inception.
Donohue began working from the trunk of her car in 1999 and founded On Point for College in August of that year. The program is dedicated to making higher education accessible to low-income youths who have the desire and the will to continue their education but who feel college is out of reach due to economic, academic and other barriers. On Point helps students through one-on-one counseling, taking students on college visits, connecting with mentors, and assisting with clothing, bedding, backpacks, college supplies and transportation. The program has been recognized nationally for effectiveness and best practices by the National College Access Network and the College Board, and was chosen as the 2008 Nonprofit of the Year by the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce.
Ford is executive director of Signature Syracuse, a comprehensive music instruction and performance program established in 2000 for Syracuse children in middle and high school. The program offers participating children a unique learning experience to improve their musical skills through disciplined rehearsals and public performances. Students are offered free music lessons and the opportunity to play in a marching band and jazz ensemble, classes in sight singing, and voice lessons.