By Julia Quanrud
Minnesota Campus Compact recently announced another opportunity for Minnesota students to apply for a Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur (CASE) Award, an award sponsored by the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation. The $1,000 award enables students to take the theories and ideas they learn in the classroom and apply them to innovative and meaningful community projects. The prestigious award requires students to recruit both a faculty sponsor and a community organization to help carry out their project, teaching students the value of creating and developing partnerships.
Kristin Riegel, a senior at Macalester College, recently completed a community project that she funded in part with her CASE Award. Kristin’s project, entitled “Daring Dialogues: Discovering the Leader Within”, applied the skills that Kristin learned as a Humanities, Media, and Cultural Studies major toward developing a workshop series on media literacy and production skills for Latina youth. Working with Associate Professor Leola Johnson from Macalester and Casa de Esperanza, a Minneapolis nonprofit dedicated towards ending domestic violence in Latina communities, Kristin hosted several workshops that culminated in the development of an online magazine, “¡Yo, Latina!”, imagined and created by workshop participants for their peers.
Other recipients of CASE Awards in Minnesota have worked to develop culturally-appropriate health literature, digitize medical records at a community clinic, and develop mentorship programs for Vietnamese youth. Programs like the CASE Awards recognize the value of providing students with the resources to build their skills as social entrepreneurs. According to Kristin, “One of the most important things that I learned from working with Casa de Esperanza is that there is no one right way to be a leader, to complete a project, or to run a program. Rather, when working with people, organizations, and communities, you need to be willing to listen to others and learn new ways of doing things. Through doing this, there becomes not only more room for greater collaboration and shared power, but this also creates a space where more ideas can be shared and more strengths can be utilized.”
To learn more about CASE Awards, visit Minnesota Campus Compact’s Web site. Minnesota Campus Compact is currently accepting applications for two $1,000 CASE Awards for the spring of 2010. The deadline to apply is November 30th, 2009.