The Washington Center and New York Life Foundation Recognize Forward Thinking Civic Engagement Programs

Oct 07, 2013, 13:39 ET from The Washington Center

$100,000 in Scholarship Funding Given to Five Universities

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In partnership with the New York Life Foundation, The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars announce the 2013 recipients of the Higher Education Civic Engagement Award.  Five schools from across the nation will be honored at a luncheon on Oct. 7, 2013 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  Award recipients were chosen among hundreds of nominees and winning schools will receive scholarship funding for experiential education.

"This is the second consecutive year the New York Life Foundation contributed $100,000 to fund academic internships," said Mike Smith, president of The Washington Center. "We thank the foundation for their continued, generous support. They join us in honoring the schools that are reaching beyond their own campuses to define and address issues of public concern and affect real change, both for the community and the students."

The Citadel, California State University at Monterey Bay, Portland State University, Southern University at New Orleans and Syracuse University, are this year's recipients. Each of the schools led and implemented successful service-learning curriculum that teach self-awareness, community engagement and life-long leadership skills.

"New York Life is pleased to be continuing our support for the Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards program which recognizes educational institutions that have outstanding civic engagement programs," said Chris Park, president of the New York Life Foundation.  "Our ability to reward the winning colleges and universities with scholarships to send their students to The Washington Center's academic internship programs in Washington, D.C. is a perfect fit for our focus on enhancing educational opportunities for deserving students who would otherwise not be able to participate in an internship and gain real-world career experience."

Examples of the forward thinking and successful community programs at each winning school are:

The Citadel: The Citadel partners with the Charleston County School District Innovation Zone. From single-day service events to long-term efforts to pilot and document the impact of literacy programs, The Citadel is working to make a lasting difference in the lives of at-risk students in neighboring schools.

California State University, Monterey Bay: CSUMB is the only public university in California to make service learning a graduation requirement. The class roster last year included over 100 service-learning courses, with an option for students to pursue a minor in service learning leadership. CSUMB introduced the Chinatown Renewal Project and students created a 30,000 square feet community garden, designed three cultural history exhibits and opened the Soledad Street Community Learning Center.

Portland State University: The University requires all undergraduates to complete a problem-solving project to benefit the community before graduation. Additionally, they offer a business certificate program that prepares students to work in Oregon's athletic and outdoor industry cluster. Leaders from Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear and others provide instruction and mentoring.

Southern University at New Orleans: As a part of its broad commitment to teaching resiliency, SUNO partners with law enforcement officials and community organizations to promote violence awareness, redoubling its efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. 

Syracuse University: In 2007, the university took a leading role in launching the Near Westside Initiative, a nonprofit partnership of the public, private and nonprofit sectors working to revitalize the Near Westside community. This partnership allowed the neighborhood to leverage the intellectual and cultural resources of Syracuse University to make a transformative impact in the broader community. 

About The Washington Center

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. for academic credit.  The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center has close to 50,000 alumni who have become leaders in numerous professions and nations around the world.  It was established in 1975.

About the New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life's tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $168 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations.  Through its focus on "Nurturing the Children," the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement.  The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program.  To learn more, please visit

SOURCE The Washington Center