University, Lt. Gov. Skillman announce service learning scholarships

April 10 2007

Indiana State University, Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announce a new program to recognize high schools that demonstrate a commitment to community engagement and reward students who practice service learning.

The program will provide Sycamore Service Scholarships of $1,000 per year to graduating seniors from nine high schools selected for the Sycamore Community Leadership Award. The scholarships will be renewable for up to four years. In addition, eight schools will receive awards of $500 each as semi-finalists, while a ninth school will receive the top school award of $1,000.

“Since the Governor and I assumed office, we have worked to increase Indiana’s already above-average rate of volunteerism,” said Lt. Gov. Skillman. “Since then, ISU has become a national leader in community engagement. I am pleased to join them in recognizing high schools that share their commitment to service learning and in rewarding students who represent true Hoosier values.”

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recently recognized Indiana State as one of only two institutions in Indiana and 62 in the nation for substantial commitments both to community engagement via educational curriculum as well as through outreach and partnerships. In addition, the university was named to the inaugural President’s Honor Roll for Community Engagement.

“Whether working with Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at community centers, helping to launch a new social work program in the country of Morocco, or spending spring break helping victims of recent natural disasters, ISU students and faculty understand the need to be active citizens in building a better community - indeed, a better world,” said ISU President Lloyd W. Benjamin III.

“The Sycamore Service Scholarships and Sycamore Community Leadership Awards may represent a modest investment in terms of dollars, but the message they carry is that the reward one receives from helping fellow citizens is truly priceless,” Benjamin said.

More than 30 ISU students who gave up a traditional spring break this year to help the Gulf Coast rebuild from Hurricane Katrina found themselves instead helping victims of the March tornado in Enterprise, Ala.

"One of those students called it the first time she felt like she helped - really helped, while another said it made him want to make a living out of helping people,” said Nancy Brattain-Rogers, director of the university’s Center for Public Service and Community Engagement. “It is our hope that by making this scholarship and award program available, we can help not just nine students from nine high schools, but young people from all across Indiana experience the same type of fulfillment.”

Sycamore Community Leadership Awards will recognize high schools whose students, faculty and staff have collectively demonstrated exemplary service to their local communities and other geographic areas between June 2006 and May 2007.Awards for will be based on evidence of student leadership, community impact, commitment of school faculty and staff to community service as a pathway to learning, and student involvement.

Applications for Sycamore Community Leadership Awards must be postmarked by June 29 and will be judged by a panel of state leaders. Winning schools will select their respective scholarship recipients. An awards ceremony will take place in Indianapolis in October. Additional details are available at the Web site of the ISU Center for Public Service and Community Engagement.

Contact: Nancy Brattain-Rogers, director, Center for Public Service and Community Engagement, Indiana State University, (812) 237-2474 or nancyrogers@indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Indiana State University, Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announce a new program to recognize high schools that demonstrate a commitment to community engagement and reward students who practice service learning.

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