Northeastern honored for serving community

For the fifth consecutive year, the Corporation for National and Community Service has named Northeastern University to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Launched in 2006, the Honor Roll highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems.

A total of 690 institutions of higher education received the distinction. Over the course of the most recent Honor Roll period, which ran from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, nearly 4,000 Northeastern students participated in community service for more than 188,000 hours.

“We are expanding our civic relationships each year, and this award only emphasizes Northeastern’s dedication to being a partner in the betterment of our communities,” said Kristen Doggett, director of the Center of Community Service.

One outstanding example of Northeastern’s commitment to serving the community is its partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Boston. Since 2009, Northeastern students have volunteered at the club for more than 19,000 hours, offering tutoring, leadership skills development, and lifestyle and nutrition coaching. Last year alone, more than 500 Northeastern students took advantage of this partnership.

Another community program, Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures, is a childhood obesity-prevention initiative founded in 2009 as a partnership between Northeastern, the Boston Red Sox, and Children’s Hospital Boston. The program specifically targets families facing a disproportionate risk of obesity, which it seeks to combat through a combination of education and physical wellness activities. “HKHF is a nice example of the collaborative relationships that the Center of Community Service tries to support,” said Doggett.

Northeastern’s commitment to partnerships for the betterment of our communities of Roxbury, Mission Hill, the Fenway, and the South End arises from its origin as an evening school for Boston’s working class and has been institutionalized in its Academic Plan.

Other major initiatives and programs at Northeastern that showcase its exemplary community service and civic engagement include the Center for STEM Education; the Balfour Academy, a college access pro­gram estab­lished by Northeastern in 1983; and the Youth Development Initiative Project, which offers counseling and life-skills assistance to stu­dents and their par­ents through courses on topics such as nutri­tion and finan­cial literacy.

“Service is reflected in our university mission and strategic goals,” said Doggett. “It works with our culture, vision, and strategy, and our quality programs only amplify our commitment to serving the community.”