APU Named to President’s Honor Roll

by Cynndie Hoff

Volunteers define the health, wealth, and success of their communities by connecting generations, promoting civic engagement, and offering practical assistance and moral support. Recognizing volunteers’ value to thriving communities, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) honors those who do it well. For the ninth time, Azusa Pacific earned a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the organization’s annual list. The award celebrates “institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships,” and affirms APU’s on-going commitment to God-honoring excellence in service.

“Our vision of service is characterized by a tireless, persistent pursuit of excellence as reciprocal learning and community building through service becomes transformational for our students, our faculty, our institution, and our community,” said President Jon R. Wallace, DBA. This year’s award recognizes six APU projects within two categories: General Community Service and Education based on the scope and quality of various university service and academic programs.

General Community Service

In this category, APU’s project Nursing Students Impacting Health at Home and Abroad demonstrated the School of Nursing’s emphasis on urban and international service from attending to the homeless in Downtown Los Angeles to caring for patients in Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying in Calcutta, India. Last year, APU nursing students volunteered a total of 10,740 hours above and beyond their required 8,820, including assistance to more than 1,370 community members through the Neighborhood Wellness Center.

The Education Support for an Immigration Population project, includes Community Advancement Programs (CAP), which fosters a sense of civic engagement. CAP employs 86 students in 12 programs at 11 sites within the City of Azusa, who volunteer more than 14,000 hours each year providing assistance to young students in reading, writing, and math, health, fitness, sports, and nutrition. Finally, the Community Building through a University and Multi-city Collaboration project involved a joint effort between APU and three neighboring cities to host the 2015 Special Olympics. The event resulted in rich cultural, artistic, recreational, and educational exchanges, and inspired the APU community to later host the Southern California Special Olympics Regional Basketball Tournament and launch the inaugural Disability Awareness Week.

Education

In the Education category, CNCS also recognized three APU projects. The first, Timely Educational Interventions, partners APU students with the Azusa Unified School District to supplement the education experience of local K-12 students. The various projects focus on college preparedness through programs such as College Headed and Mighty Proud (C.H.A.M.P.), the Eighth-grade Majors Fair, and OPTIONS, which equips at-risk youth with basic school and life skills, including role modeling and mentoring. Second, the annual Brain Awareness Fair educates more than 750 local seventh-graders about brain-related topics. Upper-division neurobiology students present activities and teaching modules that emphasize healthy lifestyle choices—such as drug and alcohol use—that will impact their education and their lives.

  • Cynndie Hoff is a freelance writer living in Walnut, California. ceh.hoff@verizon.net

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