The Catholic University of America

Campus Ministry
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Campus Ministry Partners with Beacon House

 
  Some of the girls from Beacon House
 

The Office of Campus Ministry has had a huge increase in community service participation over the past two years with more than 2,000 CUA students, staff, and faculty participating in our various special events and weekly programs. This increased participation is due in part to CUA’s renewed commitment to expanding relationships with organizations in the immediate Brookland community.

Also, Catholic University became a member of the Maryland-DC Campus Compact (MDCCC) in the fall of 2013. As a result of this membership, the Office of Campus Ministry received a community service engagement grant for three years. The $120,000 grant allows Campus Ministry to hire a full-time AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer to complete a community service project. Jessica Smith (B.A. 2013, M.S.B.A. 2014) is currently serving as the MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer for 2014–2015. Jessica is kick-starting the project by establishing key community partners on and off campus. Specifically, CUA has identified CUA student-athletes to work with our community partner, Beacon House, a nonprofit organization located in Brookland that provides tutoring, mentoring, cultural, athletic, recreational, and nutritional programs to at-risk children.

The Beacon House-Catholic University Education and Healthy Futures VISTA Project will help educate at-risk females on the possibilities for higher education, personal development, athletic accomplishment, enhanced nutrition, and general well-being. Through athletics and mentorship from college athletes, the goal is to engage young girls ages 7 to 18 in healthy living models. The program’s foundation is built on establishing strong relationships between our student-athletes and the Beacon House youth. Each group is considered an essential stakeholder at the decision-making table.

This is a unique opportunity for Campus Ministry to mentor our student-athletes as they in turn empower the young women of Beacon House to make healthier living choices. There is excitement and energy behind the project and Campus Ministry is hopeful about the impact it will have on our CUA community and the youth served by Beacon House.