SU Receives Top Award
For Community Service
Seattle University recently received the 2012 Presidential Award for community service, the highest recognition by the federal government to a college or university for its civic engagement, service-learningand volunteerism.
One of just five schools selected from 800 considered for this award, SU is the only winner chosen as the top institution in the Promise Neighborhoods category. This is in recognition of work accomplished with neighbors and community partners through the Seattle University Youth Initiative.
The Youth Initiative, which began in 2011, is a long-term, campus-wide commitment by faculty, staff and students to join parents, the City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, foundations, faith communities and more than 50 community organizations to build a better future for today’s children. The initial focus is to help children in the Bailey Gatzert neighborhood thrive in school, attend college and succeed in life.
SU Provost Isiaah Crawford accepted the award on the university’s behalf at the American Council on education’s annual meeting in March.
A recent editorial in the Seattle Times called out the award and noted, “Seattle U serves as a national example of the difference higher education can make on its neighbors.”
That the effort would receive national recognition just a year after its public launch speaks to the strong and growing partnerships SU shares with its neighbors, says Kent Koth, who directs the initiative. Koth also points to the four years of planning the university conducted in close collaboration with its neighbors before the launch.
“We are in this effort for the long haul and we won’t be satisfied until every child in our neighborhood graduates from high school and has an opportunity to go to college,” says President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. “We share this honor with our partners in the community, the Seattle Public School District, neighbors and most of all the inspiring youth of the neighborhood who teach us so much about resilience and hope.”