2017 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.
5K Long for BC Strong
The goal of our project is to bring a larger sense of awareness amongst the student body of the lack of accessibility and difficulties that students with physical disabilities face on campus. Working in collaboration with the Boston College Strong Scholarship our team implemented an on-campus 5K run to raise money for the scholarship fund. The Boston College Strong Scholarship was created in honor of alumnus Patrick Downes ’05 and his wife Jessica Kensky who were survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. This scholarship provides financial aid to a student with physical disabilities and in need of such aid. This first annual 5K run generated publicity across the BC community not only about the scholarship but about the story and mission of the couple that founded it, and attracted more than 70 runners. We hope to make this an annual event and will be working to create a BC Strong student organization. In year two, we hope to have 200+ runners.
BC Nourishes St. Columbkille
This project was designed to engage and educate elementary school students at St. Columbkille on issues of health, nutrition, and overall wellness. While an incredibly valuable lifelong skill, knowledge of nutrition is rarely discussed in lower-level education. The goal for our project was to empower young students to take personal responsibility of their health by focusing on nutrition education in the classroom. Over two days, we implemented a nutrition education workshop to 3rd and 4th graders. Workshops featured guest speakers comprising of BC athletes, dancers, and students enrolled in nutrition classes. We also provided a healthy snack bar, and engaged students in games that reviewed the concepts discussed in the workshops. Emphasizing the importance of healthy eating while proposing ways that students might implement new knowledge into their daily life was received with very positive reactions from both students and teachers. The students thrived by learning new curriculum and the methods we used to convey the information were conducive to student learning. Looking forward, given Boston College’s partnership with St. Columbkille we have started the conversation with the Boston College Office of Health Promotion to possibly carry on and build on this initiative.
The Giving Garden
Our project was to build a sustainable garden at the East Boston Early Education Center. It was our goal to promote a sense of belonging and hope for the community and all who interact with the garden particularly the children so that they form and have a meaningful connection with their local environment. Our sub-goals were to enhance the school campus and neighborhood by bringing nature into an inner-city environment; increase student interaction with nature, which helps mitigate behavioral issues and learning differences; and create a beautiful space for an under-resourced school that will be sustainable and inspire hope in children, teachers, and parents. Working with a professional landscaper, we planted plants that will thrive over the summer with minimal watering. During the school year, one class per week would receive the special honor to water the Giving Garden so they each have a piece in its growth. We plan to engage Recruit EcoReps or another club to help maintain the garden as well as start a fundraising campaign to support the future of our garden.
Meals for Others
For our project we sought to bring awareness to the global issues of poverty and nutrition in rural areas. We created a fundraising campaign which included a dinner and acapella show to benefit the organization Landesa. Over 1 billion of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas where land is a key asset, but they do not have rights to the land. Founded in 1981 by Roy Prosterman, the Landesa Rural Development Institute was the first NGO to partner with governments to extend land rights to the rural poor which has resulted in increased agricultural production; increased property investments; and increased income. We decided to host a dinner as it is symbolic of feeding yourself and donating to feed others while rallying people around something that naturally brings community together (food!) We worked closely with BC’s executive chef, Frank Bailey to create a farm to table sourced menu and included acapella groups in the event as we believe that they embody the university’s mission to create a community. Future plans for this project include working with BC Dining to designate left over meal plan dollars to the Landesa organization and securing sponsors to donate food to forthcoming fundraising efforts.
Putt for Veterans
Our project was created to raise awareness and funds to benefit American military veterans who are faced with overcoming disabilities and major injuries. We partnered with Soldier Strong, an organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of our veterans by providing “state of the art” technology to help get them back on their feet. Soldier Strong partners with the world’s leading medical technology companies to provide profound, life changing devices for veterans. Our team’s fundraising effort included a miniature golf tournament, raffle sales and an event at Agoro’s.