Southside Boys & Girls Club located in St. Cloud, MN has been an extraordinary community partner to the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University. In the last academic year alone, Southside hosted 29 service learning students and was the placement site of one Bonner Leader. Christine Kustelski, program director, is a Saint Ben’s alumna and has created a strong connection between the school and her site through her understanding of the mission and vision of the CSB/SJU community and the needs of Southside Boys & Girls Club.
Southside works primarily with Somali, African American, and Caucasian students to help “enable all young people, especially those who need them most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” Southside has nearly 900 students registered within its program and it serves as a resource for CSB/SJU students to learn about other cultures and to experience working with youth from diverse backgrounds. This resource is particularly beneficial for education students who want experience working in an academic setting with a diverse group of students.
I am proud to nominate Southside Boys & Girls Club for the President’s Community Partner Award in recognition of their commitment to the St. Cloud community and to enhancing educational opportunities for CSB/SJU students.