Community Service Blog

Simmons College Named to President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll 8 Years in a Row

Great news for Simmons and the Scott/Ross Center!

Simmons College has been named to the 2014 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Simmons has received this honor for eight consecutive years, and is one of only 16 colleges in the country - the only one is Massachusetts - to earn the "Honor Roll with Distinction" level for six of the eight years since the Honor Roll began in 2006.

Read the rest of the article on the Simmons main site.
For the full list, video, and more information, visit the Corporation for National and Community Service website. Congratulations to our community, and especially to all our wonderful volunteers!

Opportunities at the BTU School, Part II

Last week you read about Madison and Hannah, two Simmons students who started an afterschool dance program at the Boston Teachers Union School. If that inspired you, consider these other opportunities to get involved with the Boston Teacher's Union School:

•Tutor math for grades 3-5 on Mondays
•Tutor math for grades 6-8 on Wednesdays and/or Fridays
•Volunteer with a class during the school day
•Assist with after-school activities 1 day a week such as gymnastics, yoga, chess, and art (starting at 3:00pm)
•Volunteer with the school library, helping with story time and organizing the books
•Lead your own after-school activities for any grade!
You could start any activity that you are passionate about: Lego club, science club, martial arts, dance, photography, journalism... the opportunities are endless!
If you come up with any great ideas over the holiday or have any questions, contact Gretchen Barkhuff, the Massachusetts Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA at Simmons College partnering with the Boston Teachers Union School, at

Scott/Ross Center Graduate Student Civic Engagement Liaisons, 2014-2015

Get to know our Special Projects Coordinator, Roxanna Villalobos, and the team of Graduate Liaisons!

Roxanna says:
"The Scott/Ross Center, in particular, has allowed me to place my analytical studies into practice through community service. Further, the S/RC has opened many doors for me and other students alike to gain professional and leadership skills directly linked to the issues we feel most passionate about. Overall, the S/RC is a phenomenal place for students to gain exposure to different community issues as well as different environments, while committing to community service and social change."

The S/RC Graduate Student Liaisons develop and implement community service opportunities for graduate students while building and enhancing leadership skills. Because graduate students have a busy lifestyle, we work to identify barriers to graduate student engagement and seek to implement opportunities graduate students may both benefit from and enjoy. Overall, we aim to build a strong community of graduate students on campus, while also providing them with the necessary tools for success beyond their stay at Simmons.

Who We Are:
Left to right:
Beverly Gill - School of Library and Information Sciences
Anna Katia Zbikowski - School of Social Work
Roxanna Villalobos, Special Projects Coordinator
Heather Mooney - Colleges of Arts and Sciences
Wesley Leftwich - School of Nursing and Health Sciences
Not pictured: Xue Yu - School of Management

What We Do
• Expand the number of service opportunities for graduate students.
• Create valuable and meaningful community engagement initiatives.
• Increase the number of graduate students participating in service.
• Grain knowledge in social entrepreneurship, non-profit leadership and management.

Our Events - Join us!
The Graduate Student Liaisons put together several events important to the S/RC and Simmons College. We hope to make these events happen again this spring:

• GLOBAL SERVICE WEEK [April] - Simmons College celebrates service and diversity during a weeklong series of events and activities during the mid-to-end of April. The campus-wide initiative reflects the Simmons community commitment to service and the Boston community. Events include on and off campus volunteer opportunities, informative panels and workshops. Last year, students got out into the community by making nutritious meals at Community Servings, cleaning up Nira Rock Park and having high tea at Mount Pleasant Seniors Residence. On campus, students attended informative discussions on South Sudan and joined Brown Bag Lunches with Daily Table.

• STAND AGAINST RACISM with YWCA Boston [APRIL 24, 2015] - SAR is a movement of the YWCA that aims to eliminate racism by raising awareness through its annual events. As a participating site, Simmons and the Scott/Ross Center will host our own "stand" around issues surrounding racism and racial equity in the Boston community. Last year, the event included: a pledge signing of over 400 students and faculty, a Bystander Awareness Training workshop, an innovative fitness session with InnerCity Weightlifting, and a film screening of a newly released documentary titled "Broken on All Sides", followed by a critical panel of local activists.

Keep an eye out for new events and join us this spring semester by volunteering!

Sharing the Passion of Dance

"It isn't work; it's sharing a passion."

"One of the parents said to me 'thank you for bringing music and dance into my child's life. It's important for them to have somewhere to go after school."
These are the words of Madison and Hannah, Simmons first-year students who took on the fun challenge of creating their own jazz and hip-hop dance class for middle school students. Their dance class operates like any after school club at the Boston Teachers' Union School. They meet once a week for two hours, inviting any new student who wants to learn dance.

Gretchen Barkhuff is the Massachusetts Campus Compact (MACC) VISTA here at the Scott/Ross Center, connecting the Simmons community with the Boston Teachers Union School community. The partnership between Simmons College and the Boston Teachers Union School offers Simmons students the opportunity to share their passions with K-8 scholars. The BTU School students love learning new skills from college students. If you have a skill or hobby you would like to share with younger scholars, you can create your own after-school enrichment activity! Contact Gretchen Barkhuff at Work study may be available for those who receive work study as part of their financial aid package. This is an especially great opportunity for student organizations!

Thanksgiving Community Events and Volunteer Opportunities

Thanksgiving is a time for connecting with loved ones and expressing gratitude for the good things in life. It is also an important time of year for service. Here are three great ways to give back to our community.

Community Servings' Pie in the Sky Thanksgiving Fundraiser

Pie in the Sky fosters community spirit and engages the public in the mission of Community Servings -- Massachusetts' free home-delivered meals and nutrition program for the critically ill. Each November since 1993, Boston's best restaurants and bakeries donate thousands of pies for volunteers to sell. Each pie costs $28, providing a week's worth of hearty home-delivered meals to a Community Servings' client and a tasty Thanksgiving treat for you! When you support Community Servings through Pie in the Sky, your contribution goes directly to our neighbors in greatest need.
Help our Simmons team, "High Pie Me," meet the goal of raising over $1,500. Go to the website
to buy or donate a pie. You can pick up your pie at multiple locations on Wednesday 11/26, or at Simmons on Tuesday, 11/25. Please note that Simmons is location #73. If you buy a pie, please list the team "High Pie Me."

Boston Living Center 2014 Celebration of Life Thanksgiving Dinner

Peter Daniel Clark initiated the "Celebration of Life" Thanksgiving Dinner in 1988 to unite people living with HIV/AIDS with family and friends to celebrate another year of life. Since 1990, the Boston Living Center has hosted Celebration of Life, which now includes a reception with hors d'oeuvres, a three-course traditional turkey dinner, a resource fair and entertainment for 700+ guests. This year's dinner is Tuesday, November 25, 2014 from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at the Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, Boston.
We need volunteers to be:
SERVERS (serving the meal) Contact Shauna Helton at or 617.541.0222 x647
NON-SERVERS (set-up, greeters, guest and volunteer registration, coat check, juice bar) Contact Tammy Blocker at or 617.236.1012 x227
Volunteering at the event is tremendously popular, so please contact us ASAP to sign up.

The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition starts each holiday season by inviting immigrants and refugees, service providers, and policymakers to share a meal at the State House, with a focus this year on children in the Commonwealth.
Please join us on Thursday, November 20 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in the Hall of Flags at the State House for MIRA's Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon. It is free and open to all, but we recommend you reserve a spot! If you can't make the event but would still like to help, this year your donation to Our Shared Table will go directly to supporting children with free legal assistance.

Keep an eye out on Simmons Connection and our Facebook page for more volunteer opportunities and Scott/Ross Center news!

Back to School with the Scott/Ross Center

The autumn term is well underway, and the Scott/Ross Center is bustling. We have three new Graduate Liaisons in the office:

Alex Mazariegos is our Promising Pals coordinator. He is a candidate for the M.A. in Children's Literature/M.F.A. in Writing for Children, and has been a research assistant in the School of Social Work. Promising Pals is a literacy/mentorship program that pairs students at the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury with an adult pen pal from the greater Boston area, with letter exchanges throughout the year culminating in a celebratory breakfast in the spring. If you're a Simmons graduate student or faculty or staff member and would like to become a pen pal, complete the survey by November 1 or contact Alex at

Roxanna Villalobos is our Special Projects Liaison. She is an M.A. candidate in the Gender/ Cultural Studies Program and returns to the S/RC for a second year, having served as a Community Engagement Scholar at the YWCA Boston last year. She coordinates the Graduate Community Engagement Scholar Program and the Graduate Civic Engagement Liaison team, so if you are interested in either of these opportunities, give her a shout at

I, Amy Keresztes, am the Communications Coordinator, so you'll see me on this blog, our Facebook page, and website, as well as other outlets around campus. I'm an MSW candidate in the School of Social Work and an intern at the John D. O'Bryant School in Roxbury.

Stay posted to read more about Scott/Ross Center happenings, stories from our partner organizations (including a closer look at MACC Americorps*VISTA and Strong Women Strong Girls), and opportunities for YOU to serve your community!

A Look at Finance, Fundraising and Board Practices at YW Boston

This summer, Victoria Glover'15 spent part of her S/RC Fellowship at YW Boston. With an interest in finance and as a long time Bostonian she reports about her experience working at such a venerable organization.

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For years, I would walk past the YWCA building in the Back Bay and assume it was a gym facility exclusively for women. I pictured a similar set up as the many YMCAs in the Boston area. Without the opportunity to be placed at YWCA Boston (YW Boston), through my fellowship with the Scott/Ross Center, I would have missed the chance to engage with an organization that has impacted the Boston and Greater Boston areas for almost 150 years.
YW Boston is an organization that hardly participates in large scale marketing. However, it has successfully made an impact on the lives of thousands of individuals over the past 148 years, especially women and minorities. YW Boston was the first to develop trainings for women in fields that were male dominated such as construction and secretarial operations. In addition to career and skill advancement, YW Boston was the first place where women from all races could come together, without facing the dangers those who supported desegregation faced during the early and mid-1900s.
As a finance major, I got to discover how to apply finance within a sector I enjoy spending my time in. One of the departments I spent my time learning about was development, which allows the employees to explore finance in creative ways. Development at YW Boston, consists of the grant making, donor relations and development staff, who work to generate money into the organization in both new and traditional ways.
I was able to witness one of the final products of the development team come to life at YW Boston's annual Academy of Women Achievers fundraiser luncheon, one of the biggest events put on by the organization. With over 600 attendees, the Academy of Women Achievers honored five phenomenal women who are leaders in their professional lives and through civic involvement. During the event, the attendees are asked to pledge a generous donation to YW Boston so it can continue to expand on the work its programs currently does within Boston communities. This year, within the one and a half hour event, in addition to the $200,000 raised before the event began , the organization raised $46,000, which was more than the previous year's goal. YW Boston proved that when making a long lasting impact in a community, people remember and become eager to support a wonderful organization.
With such a great introduction into the organization and physically being able to see what the Board of Directors and YW Boston Staff are capable of when working together, I was given the task of doing a research project by the Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Ferrell-Jones, regarding board best practices. The goal was to research best practices of the national YWCA and the nonprofit sector as a whole, then report back what I found and how I believe the YW Boston board of directors can improve their leadership style. One specific topic she put an emphasis on was the board's role in fundraising.
In the nonprofit sector, fundraising is one of the main sources of funding for some organizations. If an organization is not successful at fundraising then they mostly likely will end up with limited monetary resources for the upcoming fiscal year. Grants are another source of funding for nonprofit organizations. Similar to applying for a college grant, when a nonprofit organization applies for a grant they are put into a pool of applicants with no guarantee of being selected. Unlike applying for grants, if done correctly, an organization can have more control of the monetary gain from individual fundraising. With grants, an organization is competing with other organizations for a sum of money that is not necessarily guaranteed.
Best practices recommended that Board Members are involved 100% in all fundraising efforts. No matter how the money is being obtained, each source of funds retrieved by the organization must have been earned with the best interest of the organization in mind. The board is not just a symbol of integrity like with some corporations, the board is strongly encouraged to work together with the development staff and senior management team to make sure the revenue goal is met. If the organization is having trouble raising funds it is the board's responsibility to use all individual networks possible to assist with achieving the fundraising goal of the organization. Board members who are not willing to go above and beyond the call of duty for the organization, might not be the best fit for the job. A sustainable organization is only as strong and effective as its Board of Directors.
Through being placed at YW Boston, I was able to witness the importance of adaptability, structure, and leadership. I learned how valuable it is to have a strong board presence when making big decisions in order to assure that these decisions are in the best interest of the organization. I discovered how important it is to adapt to the needs of the community being served, which YW Boston did by adopting two programs under the organization's umbrella that would have otherwise been discontinued. And I witnessed the power of bringing all departments within an organization together in order to put on one of the most successful large scale fundraisers in the history of YW Boston. It was an extremely beneficial experience and I look forward to seeing what other areas of need this organization decides to tackle in the future.

A2CE Student Reflection - Women's Lunch Place

Natalie Lowell reflects on her experience with A2CE a multiyear service and leadership development opportunity for Simmons undergraduates through which she spent four years with the Women's Lunch Place.


I roll over, turn off my alarm and realize it's a Friday, which means I'm on the T by 6:30am in order to get to Newbury Street. I get off at Arlington and walk to the basement door of the Church of the Covenant. The women outside smoking their morning cigarette, the women inside opening their worn books and the regular volunteers greet me on my way to the kitchen. Chef Josh, still in his cycling gear, updates me with what needs to be prepared first. I plug-in my iPhone's 90's playlist and dive into the bustle of the kitchen, singing the chorus to our favorite tunes. I may not be a morning person, but serving breakfast at the Women's Lunch Place for the past 4 years has made me appreciate an early start.
I began my freshman year knowing that I wanted to graduate with a resume that included long-term volunteering. I wanted to leave an impact at one field site but I didn't know where or how to start. Scott/Ross Center's A2CE program coordinated my field site, led reflection sessions and encouraged me to integrate my education in a capstone project. Because I had an interest in medical school and nutrition, I was offered a position as a kitchen assistant in the Women's Lunch Place. My first year and a half, I was working exclusively in the kitchen with the chef, Josh, and the other weekly volunteers. As we became more aware of the workings of the kitchen, my A2CE peers and I explored the inner workings of a non-profit. We worked in the development office where we coordinated advertising efforts for the Mother's Day Card Campaign. In my final semesters, I have passed into my senior capstone phase where I am analyzing the nutritional quality of the average meal with peers from my Advanced Community Nutrition course. My experience at WLP has spanned further than I could imagine because of the encouragement and guidance from A2CE.
A2CE provided direction on how nonprofits work, assisted with minor funding requests and motivated me to continue to serve. Although many semesters my class-load was tight with five courses, additional labs, and jobs, I made a commitment to carve out time in my busy schedule. My peers, Allison Whittier and Danielle Erhnstein and I coordinated to work the 7am-10am morning shift once per week because we wanted to stay engaged with the women. Although the shifts were early, our semesters were busy and the work was tiring, we were committed to our mission and that of WLP and A2CE. At times, I felt overwhelmed with the idea of the work to come, but in reflection, I am proud of how much I have accomplished.
My experience with A2CE has allowed me to further my education in Nutrition and Dietetics, boost my resume for prospective medical school and instilled a sense of pride in the availability and use of Boston local food resources. My position at WLP and the guidance provided by A2CE has allowed me so many interdisciplinary opportunities to leave something meaningful. I look forward to what this final semester will allow. I have been so grateful for the program and believe it is a worthwhile chance for anyone looking to leave an impact outside of the classroom.

Reading Break

Students are back and the spring semester classes begin this week!
As great it is to see them all, it is was also nice to have the chance to get caught up some reading over the extended break. I was lucky enough to have some thought provoking, informative and enjoyable reading materials shared with me and I am happy to share them with you.

Check out One Billion Rising. Our own Marissa Johnson's '14 poem is featured. ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not. It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories - politically, spiritually, outrageously - through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right. Thank you for sharing this Marissa.

In addition, Social Work Faculty member, Gary Bailey suggested I read the New York Times featured series on the Invisible Child, which is a powerful, eye opening, and heartbreaking feature that follows a homeless child and her family in Brooklyn.

Michelle Alexander author of the "New Jim Crow" was on campus in early December. I had read her book a couple of years ago but revisited it after hearing her speak last month on a wide range of intersecting topics with the American incarceration system. Her words spur you to take action on these injustices. It is astounding how the current criminal justice system instills the same types of limitations on specific populations as the Jim Crow laws but not as openly, which is how many of us remain unaware of the repercussions of this system. malexander.JPG

My friend Sarah Reed gave me the book "Random Families: Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx" by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc. A realistic and sobering look at poverty and how families and individuals are affected by their lack of access to resources and exposure to violence and criminal behavior. This book follows the characters (and they are characters in many senses of the word) with an objective and nonjudgemental view, while still getting across their hopes and disappointments and it delivers a look at how broken the social services systems can be.

My reading list also included "Give and Take" by Adam Grant. This book takes a look at work styles that he categorizes as "takers, matchers and givers" and their impact on success. I would expect that many people who work in the nonprofit field would relate to the givers category and might be surprised at how this correlates to success.

The Boston Globe Magazine lists "reading more" as number six out of ten top resolutions.. That's a resolution I hope to make time for! Reading suggestions welcome!

Service with a Smile

Earlier this month, the S/RC Fellows finished their nine week immersion into the nonprofit and grant making worlds. This culminated with an inspirational final presentation at the Boston Foundation, where Marissa, Leah and Jen shared their transformative experiences. Beyond the access to motivational leaders, philanthropic staff and all areas of nonprofit management, the fellowship experience also included having the chance to do direct service at their community partner placements. This became an important piece to their understanding of the impact of direct client interaction and contact for the successful nonprofit manager. Leah Berk, 2014 MBA Candidate worked with the Women's Lunch Place where she administered a guestsatisfaction survey along with creating donor files for development. She also had the opportunity to work in the WLP kitchen, and although she sees herself as more of a "back of the house" administrator she found great satisfaction in her direct service here. Here are some thoughts she shared about her kitchen experience.

My uncle, a former chef and consummate storyteller, used to regale us children with tales from his kitchen days. Based on his stories, I grew up thinking that commercial kitchens were highly stressful places where, as my uncle put it, "everyone has a knife - and knows how to use it." Not so at the Women's Lunch Place (WLP), a Boston-based day shelter for poor and homeless women,that serves breakfast and lunch to approximately 200 women and children, six days a week. I recently volunteered at the WLP kitchen and was amazed by what I saw. There was a zen-like concentration among the kitchen workers (nearly all volunteers) as they served food, washed dishes and wiped down counters. Josh, the WLP chef and kitchen coordinator, was warm and welcoming. He patiently explained my volunteer duties and came to check on me periodically. My job was to peel and chop carrots for a salad. As I approached the prep station, a fellow volunteer handed me a potato peeler and introduced himself to me. Other volunteers at the prep station followed suit, introducing themselves and giving me directions as needed. The process was seamless. When one task ended a more seasoned volunteer prepared for the next, always stopping to explain the new process to us newcomers. Having both volunteered and managed volunteers, I can say from experience that not all operations run as smoothly as the WLP kitchen. What makes the WLP special is that every volunteer is immediately treated as a member of the team. As an aspiring nonprofit professional, I found the culture of inclusion and ownership among the WLP volunteers both inspiring and instructive. Interested in volunteering at the Women's Lunch Place? click here

Thanks Leah!

Summer Time Perspectives

Summer can be a quieter time on campus. There is a lot of planning, reflecting and anticipation for the coming fall and the welcome of new students and return of current students. For the Scott/Ross Center Fellows it is a time to build new skills, expand on experiences and really immerse themselves in exploring the nonprofit sector and the connection to philanthropy and grant making. I am excited to share an excerpt from a reflection that Marissa Johnson, class of 2015 and a social work and political science undergraduate student has provided about her summer fellowship experience.

"I've spent the last three weeks at an organization called MataHari, founded by Simmons Alum, Carol Gomez. At its founding, the organization's purpose was to end sex trafficking. It has since expanded its mission to supporting women of color and immigrant women who are victims of human trafficking, sexual or domestic violence, human rights violations, and exploitation through direct service, community organizing, public policy, and advocacy.

At first it was invigorating, finally being "on the ground" in a grassroots setting. However, I soon felt overwhelmed, small, powerless, even. If I was feeling this way just working at MataHari, it's hard to imagine how the folks MataHari serves must feel every day. Even when working in a coalition with several other groups, it seemed that the majority of the work was in defense, only being able to make progress in small wins. This was the most challenging thing for me--feeling like our voices would never be heard was so discouraging, I almost found myself saying, "what's the use?"

I recall trying to share the story of a family going through deportation proceedings with a friend, and they simply didn't want to hear about it, they knew it would be a sad story and just didn't want to deal with that. It was so clear to me that her reaction and the way I had been feeling was such a display of privilege, being able to walk away from the cause, not having to listen, not having to do anything, while for countless people, they can't ignore this or walk away, it is the reality of their lives. As for my friend and I and all others who have the comfort and safety of citizenship, our silence only perpetuates this issue.

I began to regroup and strategize. During my whole time with the fellowship, I've been thinking about ways we can connect Simmons to the non-profit sector in Boston. I think it would be great if Simmons had some sort of group or forum to talk about these issues within the immigration system, especially because it is so prevalent in politics right now. I'm not sure if I'm thinking of starting an organization, or more like a forum to report news, updates, local actions and protests, etc. I've learned that what is quite powerful in immigration reform and helping stop deportation proceedings is organizing community voices (i.e. petitions, pledges, calling senators and representatives, etc.).

I talked to my supervisor and the Executive Director of MataHari, Monique Nguyen, and we've decided to start a campus organizing initiative. I think this is a good way to bring academia and theory down to ground with real life stories, both good for learning and perspective and "inspiring evangelists" for the cause. This idea of inspiring evangelists, or strongly engaging with people and volunteers to help them develop into committed leaders is one of the six practices outlined in Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, which also goes hand-in-hand with MataHari's grassroots approach. Because injustices are perpetuated by ignorance, having some sort of educational panel or workshop series could really squash stereotypes and misinformation and mobilize young people. Monique and I have already talked about running workshops together and training me to be able to execute informational sessions on my own for campus organizations and the general student/staff body at Simmons.

Walking away from this placement, I've realized that feeling discouraged and powerless is exactly how inequality persists, how people in power stay in power, how communities remain marginalized. Though it is much easier said than done, we must always remember that the one can not silence the many, that what is good and right does not come on its own, it needs to be fought for, that the people united can never be defeated. In other words, sí se puede!

Extending Kudos

Simmons College was recently recognized as one of the top higher education institutions in the area of student community service in the country. This is the fifth time that the College has been named to the "Honor Roll with Distinction" level of the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Simmons has been recognized for it's community service programs for all seven of the years this has been given out.

The Scott/Ross Center is central to the facilitation of community service and service learning programs. A total of 1,359 undergraduate and graduate Simmons students provided at least 20 hours of service during this year; and 556 students provided service in conjunction with their academic course learning.

There are many players who make this happen. Students who take on leadership roles and participate in the over 15 student-led community programs and Jumpstart. Faculty who plan and embrace service-learning. Community partners who welcome, share resources and knowledge and give our students life-changing personal and professional opportunities. And of course, the many staff and departments that support and enhance the S/RC and community work that happens on and off campus.

Service is a year round activity on the Simmons campus. Even during quieter times such as the summer you will find community partner youth on campus attending summer programs and the Scott/Ross Center Fellows completing nine intensive weeks of service and grant making projects. This week during spring break, a team of Simmons students traveled to New Mexico to build houses with Habitat for Humanity, another group with their COF counterparts spent the week with Boston Immersion learning about food justice and GSLIS students spent time getting the Boston Teacher's Union School library up and running.

We can all feel really proud to belong to a community where service holds such strong meaning. Thank you!

New England Patriots Give a Shout Out to Simmons Community Service Student Leader, Shauna Deleon

Shauna Deleon, Simmons Girls LEAP student leader is the New England Patriot Charitable Foundation Volunteer of the Week! This huge honor recognizes Shauna for her 3 years of volunteerism and leadership in keeping girls safe!

This week (November 11-17th) the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is celebrating volunteers who give their time for organizations which focus on "Violence, Prevention & Bullying." The Celebrate Volunteerism campaign also encourages fans to personally go out into the community and make a difference by pledging volunteer hours.

Shauna, a resident of Dorchester, joined the Simmons Girls' LEAP program through the Scott/Ross Center in her first semester in 2010 as an assistant teacher (known as Teaching Woman) devoting one afternoon per week to teach a group of 25 girls physical self-defense skills and to lead discussions and activities around identity development, conflict resolution, and how to set healthy boundaries. Girls' LEAP's mission is to empower girls and young women to value and champion their own safety and well-being.

As a sophomore, Shauna continued her growth as a leader, teaching in multiple programs and leading trainings and weekly meetings to support the work and development of the other volunteers. She continued to embrace her passion for Girls LEAP and its cause, completing an administrative internship at the Girls' LEAP development office in Spring 2012.

For the past two years, Shauna has accumulated more service hours than any other single college volunteer who serves with Girls' LEAP (125 hours in 2010-2011, and 184 hours in 2011-2012). Through her service to Girls' LEAP, Shauna joined the Simmons 2011 -2012 team of MACC AmeriCorps "Student Leaders in Service" and completed 300 hours of service.

"The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have".
Vince Lombardi

Shauna, Congratulations! You are awesome!!

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Learning by Giving: Philanthropy in Practice

This spring, Simmons undergraduate students will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge about the grant-making process through a new hands-on course made possible by the Learning by Giving Foundation.

In MGMT/SW 290 Learning by Giving: Philanthropy in Practice, Simmons students from all areas of the college will be able to participate in working with and distributing $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations that empower women and girls. Students are given full responsibility for deciding how to invest this funding in local nonprofit organizations that are addressing important community needs. This course teaches students how to make strategic philanthropic decisions that will have lasting social impact. Students will understand the social and economic roles of the nonprofit sector and philanthropy and the processes through which social change is funded and implemented through perspectives of faculty from the School of Management as well as the School of Social Work with service-learning overseen by the Scott/Ross Center.

Why does this matter? The Learning by Giving website states "Philanthropy touches every major social issue we face. We need informed, skilled, thoughtful philanthropic leaders and change agents now and in the future to address our greatest challenges." As we know, Simmons students are all about making a difference in the world and here are more tools that can help them succeed, whether they are social workers, activists, CEO's or nonprofit directors.

Pursuing a Career in the Nonprofit Sector?

This summer, the Scott/Ross Center Fellowship in Nonprofit Management provided three Simmons students an opportunity to explore nonprofit management to learn if this was a potential career path for them.

In addition to spending over two weeks at an intensive immersion in philanthropy and grant making at the Boston Foundation, the Fellows completed an additional six weeks with six Boston area nonprofits undertaking grant research and writing, program development and evaluation. They also had the opportunity to meet with staff at all levels, attend staff meetings and national and regional conferences.

America Scores New England
Boston Rising
Bottom Line
Building Impact
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
The Women's Lunch Place

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The S/RC Fellowship presentations at The Boston Foundation

Our Simmons Fellows successfully contributed new perspectives, enthusiasm and valuable skills to their community partners mission and goals. Additional information available here.