OLLU again makes President's Community Service Honor Roll

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OLLU makes President's Community Service Honor Roll

Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the third consecutive year for its work in Latina empowerment, education initiatives, and promoting economic opportunities. This is the third consecutive year that OLLU has been named to the Honor Roll.

Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

The President’ Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

Students, faculty and staff from OLLU completed 63,130 hours of service from July 2010 to June 2011 through various projects on campus and in the community. Three service projects the university has been able to highlight over the past year include: Oiga Mi Voz: LaTEENa Youth Leadership Conference, Providing Hope for the Homeless, and Hunger 365 Days a Year.

For the Oiga Mi Voz: LaTEENa Youth Leadership Conference, service-learning students from a social work class with support from the Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism (CSLV), planned, coordinated, and implemented a conference that addressed the prevailing issues faced by middle school Latina girls. More than 100 middle school Latinas from Edgewood, San Antonio and Somerset Independent School districts came to the campus to participate in workshops, campus tours, spoken word performances, and lunch panels featuring Latina leaders.  

In the Providing Hope for the Homeless program, service-learning students, volunteers and practicum students assisted at Haven for Hope with psychotherapy services, psychological assessments, spiritual services, and support of children with language disorders. They also helped with serving meals, coordinating activities for homeless veterans, and coordinating activities for teenagers and children.

The Hunger 365 Days a Year program is a partnership between OLLU and Meals on Wheels. The university coordinated a delivery route to the elderly who reside near the campus, and last year, faculty, staff and service-learning students delivered 1,490 meals. A total of 19,170 meals have been delivered since the partnership began in 2002.

Students also served at the two community kitchens at Haven for Hope. They served as mentors who work alongside juvenile offenders as they jointly performed tasks such as stocking the emergency food pantry, and carrying supplies to patron’s vehicles.  

In addition to the volunteer work and academic-service learning coordinated by the CSLV, Jennifer Bendele, MEd, director of the CSLV, noted several other departments who worked with students and sustained partnerships in the community. Those departments include:

  • Community Counseling Center
  • Education Department
  • Psychology Department
  • Worden School of Social Service
  • Harry Jersig Center
  • Career Services

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education.