For Immediate Release: March 6, 2013
Providence College Named to National Community Service Honor Roll
Providence, R.I. – For the sixth consecutive year, Providence College has been chosen to the Corporation for National and Community Service President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
To be named to the Honor Roll, a school must demonstrate that its students, faculty, and staff are engaged in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.
Several key Providence College offices and departments were highlighted in the 2013 Honor Roll, including The Feinstein Institute for Public and Community Service, Campus Ministry, and Athletics.
Another focal point of community service considered was the existence and work of the College’s Standing Committee on Service, created by Providence College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ’80 in 2008. Each department represented on the standing committee has provided support and collaboration by collecting service data of PC students each semester.
Other factors examined for the honor include exemplary projects that had measurable impacts on the community at PC. Some of those projects were Smith Hill Recreation Night (Rec Night), NOLA Immersion, and Athletes in Service.
Rec Night is a collaborative effort of PC’s Feinstein Institute, the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence (ISPN), the Smith Hill Community Development Corporation, the Providence Recreation Department, and the Providence Police Department. The Feinstein Institute and ISPN are the lead organizers. Started in 2008, Rec Night is a weekly event when 75-80 youth from the Smith Hill neighborhood and the Chad Brown housing project gather at a local park or recreation center for sports, break dancing, tutoring, conversation, and pizza. Many participants are gang affiliated. Rec Night offers the youth a hospitable, safe space. Since the start of this program, emerging conflicts are more easily identified and mediated; the youth have a greater number of positive adults consistently in their lives; and a number of the youth have been steered toward positive activities such as a summer jobs program.
PC's annual NOLA (New Orleans, La.) Immersion, sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry, is a faith-based service trip in response to the needs of post-Katrina New Orleans.The trip is a mainstay alternative break experience held for the past five years, which aids the local community while exposing students to the faith, food, and culture of the Gulf Coast. NOLA Immersion is committed to the dignity of the human person, lived out by accompanying our neighbors in the journey toward justice. Fourteen students and one Campus Ministry staff member participated this past year.
Athletes in Service
Most of the 365 PC student-athletes, representing all 19 varsity sports, participate in a range of community service. Student-athletes understand that importance of the responsibility to give back to the surrounding community and are committed to helping others, demonstrating the Athletic Department’s core values: Honesty, Integrity, Mutual Respect, Effort, and Constant Improvement. Each year, students work with the Boys & Girls Club and tutor young students. A major youth initiative undertaken by all teams, is participation in annual Reading Week. More than 50 student-athletes read to several elementary classrooms and answer questions about college, reaching out to hundreds of youth. Throughout the academic year, many of our teams help at local soup kitchens. The biggest effort is the annual “We ‘CAN’ Do It” Drive for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, which raised one ton of non-perishable goods. As Division I athletes, our students understand the value of health. Our swimming and diving team raised more than $11,000 for Swim Across America to benefit cancer research. Many of our teams assist with R.I. Special Olympics events, refereeing and cheering on the participants. Another major project athletes participate in is raising money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. During the winter season, our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee collected money during one game for each of the four winter teams, raising more than $2,000 toward granting a wish.
The corporation selects its annual list of honorees based on the scope and innovation of the school’s service projects, the percentage of student participation in community service, and the extent to which a college offers academic service-learning courses. Additionally, applicants are required to have at least seven percent of allotted work-study funds committed to off-campus nonprofit organizations and schools.