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Kent State Social Problems Course Awards Local Agencies

Posted Apr, 30, 2010

Kent State University students in a social problems course are hosting a Pay-It-Forward Celebration of Service and Awards Breakfast on Monday, May 3, from 8:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. in 317 Moulton Hall on the Kent campus. 

The Pay-It-Forward Celebration of Service and Awards Breakfast will include students’ presentations on their service experiences and Pay It Forward awards to funded community partners.  Dr. Clare Stacey, associate professor in Kent State’s Department of Sociology, is a “Pay It Forward: Strengthening Communities through Student-Led Philanthropy” grant recipient who incorporated student philanthropy in her social problems course. “I am very honored and excited to be part of the Pay-It-Forward initiative as I believe it has enhanced service learning for my students,” Stacey said. 

Kent State students in social problems course dedicated 20-30 hours of service to one of four local community agencies, including the Haven of Rest Ministries, Ohio Benefit Bank – Community Action Agency of Portage County, Townhall II and Portage County Community Health Center.  Students collaborated in drafting a request for funding proposal and for community agencies to complete. Based upon the students’ reflection of their service-learning experiences, classroom discussions and assessment of community needs, the students served as a selection committee responsible for allocating funding to the community agencies.

The award recipients will be announced at the May 3 breakfast event. The four competing local agencies will be awarded grants totaling $4,500.

“The Pay-It-Forward grant empowers students to examine the myriad needs facing local communities and gives them an opportunity to enact real and positive change,” Stacey said.

The Office of Experiential Education & Civic Engagement at Kent State received the “Pay It Forward: Strengthening Communities through Student-Led Philanthropy” grant to address critical economic needs in local communities through student-led grant making and civic engagement. The purpose of this initiative is to develop a new generation of philanthropists through a course-based service-learning environment that engages college students in hands-on philanthropy and service while providing community nonprofits with much needed assistance in the current deflated economic environment.

For more information, contact Tina L. Kandakai, coordinator of Kent State’s Office of Experiential Education & Civic Engagement, at 330-672-8723 or experiential@kent.edu, or Dr. Clare Stacey at 330-672-2044 or cstacey@kent.edu.

The funding for Pay It Forward is made possible through The Corporation for National and Community Service (Learn and Serve America Higher Education).

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Media Contacts:
Tina L. Kandakai, experiential@kent.edu, 330-672-8723
Bob Burford, rburford@kent.edu, 330-672-8516