Service Projects

2020 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. This year due to COVID-19 most of the 2020 projects had to be reimagined. Students managed the unexpected disruption with aplomb and were able to successfuly bring some semblance of conclusion or continuity to their projects.

Affordable Housing in the Greater Boston Area

Our project is designed to demonstrate ways in which affordable housing impacts peoples’ lives in the greater Boston area with a more specific focus on bursting through the “BC bubble” and the illusions we have about the real world while living on a college campus. We want people to understand the severity of the crisis and of the issues at hand. Our project will focus on how cost of living impacts choices and lifestyles. We will be working with student affairs to create a BC specific program for college students, which will include the impact college loans have on your monthly budget.

Ballou Farm Urban Agricultural Promotional Project

Our project focused on an Urban Agricultural Project called The OASIS on Ballou. This farm is located directly on the Fairmount Line in Dorchester, where many people are living below the poverty line. Like many other neighborhoods along the rail line, Dorchester residents have difficulty accessing affordable healthy food, and many suffer from health conditions such as diabetes. Ballou Farm is a place where community members can learn about healthy eating and make a living selling the farm’s produce to local restaurants. The farm also employs formerly incarcerated men to harvest crops each spring and summer. We had originally planned to organize a volunteer day in April and redesign the farm’s website for our service project. Due to the challenges from COVID-19, the volunteer day for Ballou Farm has been postponed to the fall. There will be a website created to promote the farm’s mission and offer volunteer opportunities there in the future. Keep an eye out for fliers around BC’s campus, and we hope to see you on Ballou Farm soon!

BC Bees

BC Bees

Our project recognizes the wavering efforts of Earth’s various societies to combat climate change. Starting in Chestnut Hill, we aim to combat climate change through an extraordinary yet all-too-familiar species: bees. With Boston College's very own beehive on top of Fulton Hall, our plan has been to install live web cameras and utilize an engaging, dynamic website to spread awareness of bees' importance. Partnering with BC administration and BC's sustainability and energy specialist, Bruce Dixon, we planned to educate the BC community and eventually spread to schools in the greater Boston area. However, given the impact of COVID-19, all non-essential projects came to a halt, including our webcam installation.

UPDATE: Webcam was installed and we witnessed the beehive delivery via Zoom on May 25th. Website will be launced in Fall 2020.

Helping MIRA Promote Immigrant Rights

Our project is focused on establishing a partnership and relationship between MIRA, Massachusetts’s Immigration and Refugee Advocacy coalition, and Boston College. MIRA’s mission is to help immigrants know their rights and provide them with resources necessary to help them adjust to the U.S. and become citizens. MIRA places an importance on immigrants as human beings and not “illegals.” The organization helps immigrants become naturalized citizens and registered voters. Our project plan is to partner with MIRA to bring a greater awareness of immigration and immigrant rights to Boston College. We hope to do this next semester with an information session and volunteer training session provided by a MIRA representative. Then we plan to provide transportation to BC students interested in volunteering to MIRA’s citizenship clinics. We hope to establish an ongoing partnership between BC students as volunteers with MIRA and to promote a greater awareness of immigration rights at BC.  

Jenks and Perkins: Adaptive Sports & Caring Communities

Our project is focused on connecting the Boston College community to Perkins School for the Blind, which serves students with visual impairments and other disabilities in the greater-Boston area. Originally, our plan was to make this possible through Goalball—a popular adaptive sport where players are blindfolded and must attempt to roll a noise-making ball into their opponent’s goal—specifically by building a goalball net for younger students at the school, collaborating with the BC Council with Students for Disabilities, and organizing an event in which BC students could visit Perkins, try the sport, and hopefully garner a new appreciation for the importance of adaptive sports. However, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, we were not able to bring this initial plan to fruition. In order to still create a connection between BC and Perkins, we instead decided to create a fundraising campaign during the month of May using our social media platforms, thereby connecting Perkins to a new base of supporters as well as creating new community awareness and interest in Perkins’ mission.


Signing Up For Sustainability

Our project focused on increasing sustainability in the BC Dining Halls. One of our group members saw a problem with sanitation when she tried bringing in her own tupperware to the dining hall to take food to-go. In general, we saw that the dining culture at BC was inundated with unsustainable practices such as too many single-use plastic options, non-recyclable salad and pasta bowls, and bulky glass plates that made it difficult for on-the-go students to choose them as a sustainable option. Therefore, we partnered with BC Dining to kick-start the Green-to-Go initiative. As a part of the program, students can ask for a green container when getting their food, pay a one-time fee to purchase the container, and return it to a special area for washing. Upon return, students receive a green carabiner that signifies payment. The next time they want to eat, they turn in the green carabiner instead of paying for the container again. We hope to expand this program to all dining halls and make this a larger initiative next year.

Past Service Projects