The following post was submitted by Kimberly Grayson, Graduate Assistant for The JSU Center for University Based Development
Did you know that Jackson State University (JSU) was a finalist for the 2010 President Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Award this year? The Honor Roll, launched in 2006, is the highest federal designation awarded to institutions of higher education for their commitment to and achievement in community service. A total of 851 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll, 114 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 11 were identified as finalists, and 6 received the Presidential Award. JSU ranked No. 7 of the eleven universities that received the finalist recognition and was the only Mississippi institution and Historically Black College or University (HBCU) awarded.
As a graduate student in JSU’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning and intern for the Center for University-Based Development, I am very proud of this distinction and JSU’s commitment to the community. The University has strongly encouraged my participation in many community service projects both locally and abroad. This past summer, I had the opportunity to study tourism, culture and international community development in Ghana, Africa with a former JSU professor.
JSU’s Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning (CSCEL) is coordinating the Fall 2011 Alternative Break to Shanghai. I was fortunate enough to be one of the twenty-five students chosen to participate. I’m excited that this trip will give me another opportunity to serve and learn more about different cultures.
We will travel to China from November 10 through 24, 2011. The University of Shanghai for Science and Technology will serve as our host. During this trip, we will participate in community service projects such as teaching English to middle school students and working with the elderly and disadvantaged children. There are also plans to travel by train to Beijing, China to climb The Great Wall of China.
This trip is the first international trip sponsored by CSEL and is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most students. JSU has made the trip as inexpensive as possible, however there are some students still struggling with the cost. Where our motto is “Challenging Minds, Changing Lives,”please consider sponsoring a JSU student or making a financial contribution towards this trip. For more information, you can contact Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning @ 601-979-1294.