Dear Community Member,
The Center has completed a very successful 2004-2005 year with over ____ students involved in service learning projects and programs around our community, led by over ____ faculty in the Schools of Education, Health, Business, Engineering and Liberal Arts. During the summer, we are continuing our implementation of the Compassion Capital Fund grant in the Buena Vida barrio, as we develop the first social services network with community and faith organizations and the new Buena Vida Leadership Council. We are already planning new service projects for the 2004-2005 academic year, in the areas of Wellness, Education and Business. Here are a few highlights of the Center's work during the past year:
Buena Vida F.I.T.ness (Families in Transition) Network.
Last year, the Center was awarded a three year capacity-building grant from the Department of Health and Human Services/Compassion Capital Fund to develop a new "F.I.T.ness" (Families in Transition) social services network for the downtown/Buena Vida barrio with community and faith-based organizations. The Center, in collaboration with its strategic partner United Way of Southern Cameron County, will develop the F.I.T.ness Network with technical assistance and sub-awards, to deliver ongoing Wellness, Education and Business services and training. TA workshops on Outcomes Measurement, Non-Profit Financial Management, Board Development and Strategic Planning Basics were delivered by Ms. Wendy Hanson (UWSCC) and Ms. Mariana Whitley (CCF Program Coordinator) to over 70 community and faith agencies in Brownsville. Eight subawards totaling $105,500 were made to the Buena Vida Resident Association, Valley AIDS Council, Brownsville Adult Literacy Center, Livingway Church, Iglesia del Pueblo Pentecostal, Consumer Credit Counseling Services, and Cameron County Projects - Kids College. First year benchmarking surveys of the barrio were taken by Dr. Belinda Reininger, UT Houston School of Public Health.
Kids Voting Brownsville.
Read Aloud Meriendas
Scholarship of Community Engagement
(SOCE) is designed to connect academic scholarship with community service and enhance the COPC initiatives. The Center hosted an “Action Research” seminar for faculty who were interested in community-based research. Dr. David Diehl from Austin, Texas spoke. Over 20 faculty attended. The goal of the SOCE project is to support faculty and students in their quest for new knowledge that will help us better understand and solve community issues. CCE student/scholars and staff were assigned to assist faculty listed below in their respective research projects. Awards were determined by a community advisory panel. During the past year, ten faculty were awarded mini-grants to engage in community research and present their findings at regional and national academic conferences.
Kids Voting Brownsville.
The Center led the Kids Voting Brownsville which was a great success--over 40,000 kids across Brownsville voted in the November general election (80% turnout) and over 20,000 voted in the City elections on May 7th. The Master Minds events seemed to galvanize the attention of kids all over Brownsville. We received reports from community and campus leaders who "ran into" kids wearing the special T-shirts at restaurants, the mall, schools--even at the flea market. The Center would like to thank all the principals, teachers and parents who helped make Kids Voting Brownsville 2004 a success. The Kids told us they want to do this every election in Brownsville. So, we are planning to begin again for the May 2005 elections.