The United Way of Summit County, in collaboration with local community philanthropists, recently announced that it would fund University of Akron’s service-learning program with another $20,000 specifically to support the Pay it Forward student philanthropy program.
As Associate Director of the University’s Institute for Teaching and Learning and Service-Learning, Beyerle has been a champion for service-learning and for the Pay it Forward student philanthropy project. What began as small-scale student philanthropy program, partially supported by a small grant from Ohio Campus Compact in 2010, has bloomed into a sizable program, which currently supports six Spring semester academic classes. A total of 140 University of Akron students participate in service-learning with 16 different nonprofit organizations and will award $7,000 in grant money to these charities. The new funding from the United Way and other local donors means this successful program will enable students to continue to Pay it Forward into the future.
Initial funding came from the University of Akron service-learning program budget (Spring 2010). In June 2010, The University of Akron received a $10,500 grant for the Pay it Forward project from Ohio Campus Compact.
Faculty members Dr. Deborah Marino (Community Nutrition II) and Karen Padrutt (Group Decision Making) each received $5,000 for their class projects. As part of the service-learning project, students dedicated a minimum of 15 hours of service to the nonprofits and also identified community needs and researched the nonprofit sector in an effort to select organizations meeting the identified community need (children and youth programs; neighborhood development and revitalization; and hunger, homelessness, and health issues). Students developed a Request for Funding Proposals (RFPs) and engaged in a group decision-making process to award funds to local nonprofit organizations.
As the OCC Pay it Forward grant ended, UA’s service-learning budget funded the project for an additional semester until Spring 2012 when the United Way of Summit County agreed to support the project and awarded the UA program $10,000. The United Way awarded another $10,000 for the period July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.
From January 2010 through December 2012, 673 UA students from 30 different classes participated – awarding $30,800 in grant money.
Participating classes: Group Decision Making, Community Nutrition II, Student Success Seminar, English Comp I, English Comp II, Career Planning, Intro to Ethics, Basic Chemistry, Legal Minefields of Entrepreneurism, and Ohio History.
UA “Pay it Forward” Competition Awards $2000 to Local Nonprofit
“Pay it Forward” students compete to help community
“Pay it Forward” competition awards $2,000 to Child Guidance & Family Services