Theory of Connectivity...
They worked with local non-profits through the Summer Service Fellows Program.
Each spring, non-profit community partners contact the College, seeking student help during the summer months. Many of these organizations don’t have the funds to employ the students directly, but still have a strong need for the support they enjoy throughout the academic year.
This summer, a grant funded work by Muhlenberg students at local non-profit organizations. Students who participated in the program received on-campus housing at the College during the summer months as well as a living stipend through funding by a Congressionally-directed grant.*
Beth Halpern, director of Community Service and Civic Engagement at Muhlenberg, considers the first summer of the two-year program a success. The grant fully funded three fellowships for Muhlenberg College students and partially funded several others.
Danielle Novak ’11 spent 12 weeks working with Community Bike Works, a local non-profit focused on keeping children active, successful in school and off the street through a bicycle-based rewards program.
She spent 30 hours a week aiding the organization by developing lesson plans and teaching children in after-school programs.
Elizabeth Fonseca ’13 spent her summer working with Civic Theatre of Allentown. Her experience helped develop not only her appreciation for the arts, but the business and marketing aspect of the local organization.
“Service connects directly to the mission of Muhlenberg College,” says Halpern. “We encourage students to lead lives of leadership and service in both the future and the time they spend at Muhlenberg.”
Community Bike Works and Civic Theatre aren’t the only organizations that enjoyed assistance this year. The grant also funded fellowships with Allentown Weed & Seed, Casa Guadalupe and event programming with the city of Allentown government.
“The great thing about community engagement is that it really can be for anybody,” says Halpern. “Programs like our Summer Service Fellows really capitalize on the talents of individuals and allow them to explore their own interests, their own skills and their own talents.”
The College has always been a great citizen of Allentown and the Lehigh Valley. The Summer Service Fellows program serves as another example of Muhlenberg preparing its students for lives of leadership and service.
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*This program was developed as a result of a Congressionally-directed grant award. However, the program does not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.