Jacket Philanthropy Program awards $20K in grants

For the tenth consecutive year the Jacket Philanthropy Program has awarded $20,000 in grant money to local non-profits.
According to Christy Walkuski, Director of the David & Frances Brain Center for Community Engagement, classes that are included in the Jacket Philanthropy Program are each assigned several non-profit organizations; each has their own unique requests for grant money and service projects. Students compete with one another to achieve funding for their selected charities. The subjects include English, Public Health, Psychology, and Sociology.
“The semester before the program we do a call for proposals, where partners can apply” said Walkuski. “They submit service projects they want students to work on and the topic for the grant proposal they would like students to work on.”
Eighteen organizations were up for the grant money this year ranging a variety of topics. Seven of them were awarded in varying amounts. The largest single grant was $5,000 and went to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (Sociology). Public Health: $2,500 to Old Brooklyn CDC and $2,500. English: $2,000 to Lake Erie Ink and $3,000 Scranton Road Ministries CDC. Psychology: $3,000 Bellefaire JCB and $2,000 to City Mission.
Of the eighteen non-profits included, over forty applied to the program. The selection process revolves around each organizations compatibility with Baldwin Wallace, the experience they can offer, and whether they align with classes in the program.
“It’s really important that the content of the organizations and the experience aligns with the course. If your course is specifically about child maltreatment, child abuse and things like that, working in a soup kitchen may or may not translate to what you’re learning in the class” said Walkuski. “So the faculty really look for partners and projects that will help students to see what they’re learning in the class in the real world and help them translate the theories, the skills, and the knowledge that their learning in the classroom and see how that applies in a real world environment.”
Another criteria is the proximity of the non-profit to the University.
“this year we have Berea community outreach as one of our partners then we also have Lake Erie Inc. which is located all the way on the East side of Cleveland so there is a range” said Walkuski. “We always try to make sure we have a few that are Berea connected, but we get a lot of proposals.”
The grant money is sourced from philanthropic organizations like the Zilber Family Foundation, The Harry K. & Emma R. Fox Charitable Foundation, and the George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation and Baldwin Wallace chips in too.
“BW invests some budget in it, through my office and through academic affairs, and we have local foundations and donors who provide funding for it.”
At the ceremony, each team was given a short timeslot to share their experiences in the class and with their nonprofit over the semester.
“Each team has four minutes, I think, to present” said Walkuski. “Typically they pick one speaker from their group and they will share very high level stuff, so they’ll share the type of service experience they had, what their grant proposal was, and then just what they learned, what their takeaway was…And then they’ll share a little about the mission of the organization that they worked with. So it’s like a whole semester given in a three minute pitch.”