Boston College Receives Grant to Work with Underserved Students

Congratulations to the Lynch School of Education at Boston College for being rewarded a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation! This grant will “engage low-income high school students in a science and emerging agricultural technology project, designed to guide them in conducting scientific research and prepare them for post-secondary scientific study.” This project, called the “Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers,” will involve 30 Boston public school students from populations that are underrepresented in science.

This project will help prepare students for post-secondary education and will give them the opportunity to fulfill future career aspirations. Lynch School Professor of Science Education, Michael Barnett, notes “This program will build on the capacity of our youth participants to make potential scientific discoveries, as well as develop youth leaders who will become role models in their community through mentorship.”

To read more about the grant received by Boston College, visit Boston College news.

“Holy Ballers” Serve Worcester Youth

College of the Holy Cross is implementing an innovative social justice project called “Holy Ballers.” The “ballers-model” is a project focused on “peer-to-peer mentorship of residents within the juvenile detention system. The goals of the program include reducing the recidivism rate and showing residents that they are valuable to society and their future is not determined by their past mistakes.” The “ballers-model” began at John Carroll University, and sophomore political science major Riley Benner brought this model to Holy Cross.

Benner introduced the model to his high school and knew that when he arrived at college he wanted to start a chapter there as well. When Benner approached Marty Kelly, associate chaplain and adviser to Student Programs for Urban Development, he was nothing short of excited. After the program was launched, Holy Cross students took great interest and Benner recruited 15 volunteers through a rigorous application process.

Three days a week, six Holy Cross students visit the juvenile detention center in Worcester to play basketball with residents. They then share a meal together and simply talk. Benner explains, “We’re not there to serve the boys; we’re not there to teach them what it means to be a good citizen, or to lecture them on the classifications of a Massachusetts felony. We’re there simply to be together, to be one. We don’t hold a bar up and ask any of them to measure up; we simply show up. And we tell them the truth. The truth that they are exactly what God had in mind when God made them. And we watch as they become that truth.”

To read more about Holy Ballers, visit Holy Cross news.

Inclusion on Campus: Involve Alumni to Support Diversity Initiatives

Many graduates who have achieved success are looking to give back. The University of Dayton’s Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) offers an Alumni Engagement Program that connects alumni with current students who are of diverse backgrounds, helping boost student retention and persistence. The program cultivates opportunities for graduates to provide mentorship and other forms of support, while identifying students who would benefit from alumni guidance. Alumni provide support for current undergraduate students in a variety of ways such as as a resource to empower students in their major or field of interest, participating in ongoing programming through OMA, writing a letter of encouragement, or sponsoring a student’s textbooks through the Diverse Students Population fund.

Over the next few weeks, we will release short examples of diversity at Catholic institutions of higher education as part of a series called “Inclusion on Campus”.  Stay tuned to hear how Catholic institutions are promoting diversity as an expression of God’s grandeur!