2013 Jenks Leadership Program Service Projects
The culmination of the Jenks Leadership program is the service project. In teams of 4-6, Jenks participants design and execute a service project during the third module of their Jenks experience, using the skills and tools they have learned during their first two modules. Rather than assign a project to each team, students are given the opportunity, as a group, to choose an issue they are passionate about and come up with a creative approach to effecting change. Below are examples of a few successful projects.
BC Helping Others Get Back On Their Feet
Our group is partnering with the Boston chapter of Back On My Feet (BOMF), a national organization working to rehabilitate the homeless through running. BOMF prepares members for serious road races, including the Boston Marathon, while providing them the necessary resources to jumpstart their futures. After completing an initial phase with BOMF, members can gain access to job training, employment opportunities, and even financial aid. Our group plans to contribute resources that enable BOMF to continue their work. We are raising funds that can pay for running clothing and entrance fees for races. We are collecting and will then donate several pairs of new running sneakers. Finally, we plan to bring a BOMF member to BC’s campus where he or she can speak about his or her experiences before and after BOMF and the BOMF program itself. In bringing a BOMF member to campus, we will raise awareness about homelessness in our own backyard as well as highlight organizations, which along with BOMF have been combating this issue head on.
Campus Health and Wellness Campaign
Campus Health and Wellness Campaign is a campus-wide informational campaign focused on healthy living and health resources at Boston College. In cooperation with University Counseling Services, the Office of Health Promotion, and other student organizations, the campaign seeks to raise awareness of issues concerning mental health, stress, and healthy living on campus, as well as to increase students' utilization of existing campus resources. The campaign will proceed in two stages. First, informational fliers and will be distributed on campus in an effort to highlight major health issues facing university students along with their symptoms, causes, and helpful resources. Second, a scavenger hunt and giveaway will encourage students to visit the locations The Jenks team hopes that a successful campaign will prompt the formation of a student organization that assists the administration in implementing similar campaigns in the future.
Give it Away
"Give It Away" is a series of workshops held at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester designed to be a condensed version of the Jenks Leadership Program. The project's goal is to instill ethics, education, and a sense of community into a group of youth from the greater Boston area. The workshops are mirrored after those conducted in JLP, such as Tinker Toys, Lost at Sea, the Helium Pole activity, and improvisation, while also incorporating the lessons and ideas of 48 Hours, Kairos, Splash, 4Boston, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. These workshops build on key tenets of leadership through interactive activities and reflection journaling. The title and inspiration for the “Give It Away” program comes from Father Michael Himes’ Homily during the mass at Fenway, celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Boston College, where he preached that “The reason to be educated is to teach someone else. You never grasp the fruits of your education until you give it away.” As a result, the purpose of this program is to pass on what has been learned through the Jenks Leadership Program to those who can be positively influenced by it. The program’s impact is intended to be long lasting, and it is hoped that in the long run it will become a perennial service project.
Jenks and Cradles to Crayons
Cradles to Crayons (C2C) is a nonprofit organization based in Brighton, founded to provide everyday essentials like clothing and school supplies to Boston-area children living without a home, or in a low-income household, from birth to age 12. C2C is able to provide these items at no cost by engaging "communities that have with communities that need." As members of the Boston College community, we have much to offer our young neighbors in Boston. The aim of our project is to harness the time and financial support of our peers for the benefit of the children served by C2C. We are doing this by coordinating regular, in-person visits by a range of student groups at BC to C2C's "Giving Factory" where our volunteers can experience firsthand the gratification of sorting clothes, toys, and school supplies, and assembling them into "kid packs" for young people who would otherwise do without. In order to raise awareness at BC about C2C and the underlying needs of the population they serve, we have designed an informative website targeted at BC students through which supporters can make online contributions toward the purchase of specific items in high demand at C2C.
“SmarterWater” is a campaign aimed lowering the use of disposable water bottles on the Boston College campus, as well as at raising awareness of the importance of conserving the environment. We hope to lower the use of disposable water bottles by giving out free aluminum water bottles with a Jenks SmarterWater logo. Each water bottle we hand out will have an attached tag with statistics about the effects of disposable water bottles on the environment, as well as information which demonstrates that bottled water is no better than tap water. The water bottles will technically be free, but we will accept donations and allow students to pay what they think the water bottles are worth, in hopes that we can order multiple batches of water bottles and get as many of them as possible out on campus. We plan on distributing the water bottles in the quad, outside the Plex, and on the first floor of McElroy Commons. If there are any proceeds remaining at the end of the project, we will donate them to an environmental organization in the area. Our group hopes that this project will be a step toward creating a plastic bottle-free campus and that students will get fired up about protecting the environment.