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National Award for General Community Service
February 19, 2008, Volume 54, No. 22



Blanchard Diavua, Ira Harkavy and David Grossman at the Honor Roll ceremony.


The University of Pennsylvania is one of three schools nationwide selected to receive the Presidential Award for General Community Service from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in the second annual Honor Roll. The others are Otterbein College in Ohio and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The award was presented last week at the annual conference of the American Council on Education in San Diego, California.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary student community service and service-learning programs, thereby encouraging growth in the number of college students engaged in community service and service-learning each year. The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service through its Learn and Serve America program, and is sponsored by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, the USA Freedom Corps, and the US Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development. The CNCS is the federal agency that administers the Senior Corps and AmeriCorps programs.

In 2007, the Honor Roll focused on two categories: General Community Service and Special Focus Area, which for 2007 was service that supports improved high school graduation and college readiness of youth from disadvantaged circumstances.

Presidential Award winners were invited to an Honor Roll awards ceremony and presented with special certificates signed by President George W. Bush. Dr. Ira Harkavy, director of Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships and David Grossman, director of Penn’s Civic House; along with Penn undergraduate Blanchard Diavua, C ’09, accepted the award.

The Presidential Award for General Community Service recognizes the range of community service programs at Penn, including the:

• School of Nursing’s Living Independently for Elders (LIFE).

• Fox Leadership Program’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

• Penn in the Gulf program of the schools of Social Policy and Practice, and Nursing.

• Penn in Botswana, a program of the Medicine, Nursing, Wharton and Annenberg schools.

• Summer Mentorship Program for High School Youth.

• Civic House’s West Philadelphia Tutoring Project.

• Netter Center’s Community Schools, Moelis Access Science, Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative; College and Career Pathways.

The CNCS citation read in part:

“The University of Pennsylvania is an exemplar for its outstanding commitment to leveraging university resources to solve real world problems in their local community and beyond. Penn faculty, students, and staff participated in community service through a wide variety of service and service-learning programs. One strong and long-term project, coordinated through Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships, is the development and support of community schools in the neighborhood surrounding the university.  Community schools provide an array of educational, health, athletic, cultural, and other programs to the community.  Penn support includes a citywide youth basketball league, free health and dental screenings, tutoring and mentoring programs, afterschool and summer programs, and antitruancy efforts. Penn faculty teach more than 50 courses in the community.”

Additional information on the CNCS is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll. For more about Penn’s community service activities see www.learnandserve.gov/about/programs/higher_ed_honorroll_penn.asp.

Almanac - February 19, 2008, Volume 54, No. 22