Northeastern honored for serving community

For the fifth con­sec­u­tive year, the Cor­po­ra­tion for National and Com­mu­nity Ser­vice has named North­eastern Uni­ver­sity to the President’s Higher Edu­ca­tion Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Honor Roll. Launched in 2006, the Honor Roll high­lights the role col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties play in solving com­mu­nity problems.

A total of 690 insti­tu­tions of higher edu­ca­tion received the dis­tinc­tion. Over the course of the most recent Honor Roll period, which ran from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, nearly 4,000 North­eastern stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in com­mu­nity ser­vice for more than 188,000 hours.

“We are expanding our civic rela­tion­ships each year, and this award only empha­sizes Northeastern’s ded­i­ca­tion to being a partner in the bet­ter­ment of our com­mu­ni­ties,” said Kristen Doggett, director of the Center of Com­mu­nity Ser­vice .

One out­standing example of Northeastern’s com­mit­ment to serving the com­mu­nity is its part­ner­ship with the Boys & Girls Club of Boston. Since 2009, North­eastern stu­dents have vol­un­teered at the club for more than 19,000 hours, offering tutoring, lead­er­ship skills devel­op­ment, and lifestyle and nutri­tion coaching. Last year alone, more than 500 North­eastern stu­dents took advan­tage of this partnership.

Another com­mu­nity pro­gram, Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures, is a child­hood obesity-​​prevention ini­tia­tive founded in 2009 as a part­ner­ship between North­eastern, the Boston Red Sox, and Children’s Hos­pital Boston. The pro­gram specif­i­cally tar­gets fam­i­lies facing a dis­pro­por­tionate risk of obe­sity, which it seeks to combat through a com­bi­na­tion of edu­ca­tion and phys­ical well­ness activ­i­ties. “HKHF is a nice example of the col­lab­o­ra­tive rela­tion­ships that the Center of Com­mu­nity Ser­vice tries to sup­port,” said Doggett.

Northeastern’s com­mit­ment to part­ner­ships for the bet­ter­ment of our com­mu­ni­ties of Rox­bury, Mis­sion Hill, the Fenway, and the South End arises from its origin as an evening school for Boston’s working class and has been insti­tu­tion­al­ized in its Aca­d­emic Plan.

Other major ini­tia­tives and pro­grams at North­eastern that show­case its exem­plary com­mu­nity ser­vice and civic engage­ment include the Center for STEM Edu­ca­tion; the Bal­four Academy, a col­lege access pro­gram estab­lished by North­eastern in 1983; and the Youth Devel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive Project, which offers coun­seling and life-​​skills assis­tance to stu­dents and their par­ents through courses on topics such as nutri­tion and finan­cial literacy.

“Ser­vice is reflected in our uni­ver­sity mis­sion and strategic goals,” said Doggett. “It works with our cul­ture, vision, and strategy, and our quality pro­grams only amplify our com­mit­ment to serving the community.”