2015 Challenge Winners:

Private University: Drake University

Community College: Miami Dade College

Public University: UMass Dartmouth

Thank you to everyone involved in the Challenge event, and for leading the nation ahead on the creation of service year opportunities for students to channel learning and change lives.

Jamie Merisotis, CEO of Lumina Foundation, announcing the 2015 Challenge Winners

2015 Finalist Presentations (Part 1 & Part 2):

2015 Challenge Finalists Summary: 

Community Colleges

Alamo Colleges proposed to extend their partnership with Public Allies by creating opportunities for currently enrolled first-generation students with at least 12 credit hours to integrate a 10-month, full-time, service year into their college experience. The students would receive 6 credits for their service.

Miami Dade College (WINNER) proposed a Changemaker Corps, a peer to peer mentoring and support program that helps youth who have aged out of foster care mentor other foster care system students, with the goal of helping them stay in school, graduate, and develop employability skills. The mentors’ service year would be 20 hours per week for 9 months, for which they would receive 3 credits and professional development.

Salt Lake Community College proposed a Civically Engaged Scholar program where participating students would serve 20 hours per week for an academic year with community partners in the Salt Lake area. They would receive 3 credits for their service and related coursework, and would receive a distinction on their transcript.

Public Universities

San Jose State proposed a Restore Coyote Creek service year program to enlist students across disciplines in the restoration, beautification, and recreational development of Coyote Creek. Participating students would participate in direct service and support efforts to mobilize the community. The 10-month, 20-hour per week service year would be connected to 8 academic credits plus linked to additional related courses.

The University of Kentucky proposed a Kentucky Scholar Intern program where participating juniors or seniors would be placed in state or local government agencies, or with nonprofits, in the most under-resources areas of the state. The 11-month, full-time service year would be connected to 30 academic credits.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (WINNER) proposed a Community Health Worker: Advocate! Navigate! Educate! service year for nursing students. The service year builds upon the university’s College Now Program, a five-year admissions option which assists students with the transition from high school to college through a first year experience. The 8-month, 30 hour per week, service year would be connected to 12 academic credits.

Private Universities

Drake University (WINNER) proposed an Engaged Citizen Corps, a curriculum and service year experience for entering first year students. Members will work towards increasing economic and community development in the Greater Des Moines Region. Members would complete a 9-month, 32-hour week service placement with the integration of 24 undergraduate college credits. 

Mount St. Joseph University proposed a Mount Corps service year program for undergraduate students in select majors. Participating students would serve 20-40 hours per week for a year with community partners related to their field of study. The service year, along with related coursework, would be connected to 21 academic credits.

Saint Peter’s University proposed a Yanitelli Service Learning Fellowship Program, in partnership with Rising Tide Capital. The program would be open to rising seniors who would work to support economic development in the Jersey City area. The 10-month service year program is connected to 3-6 academic credits.