Peter Elwell and Joan Bennett, Project for Pride in Living
Project for Pride in Living’s mission is to “work with lower-income individuals and families to achieve greater self-sufficiency through housing, employment training, support services, and education.” Joan Bennett, Youth Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator, and Peter Elwell, Service Coordinator, are both deeply committed to the mission of PPL. They both are natural relationship builders and have been strategic about partnering with higher education institutions to realize and mission and broaden their work with St. Paul PPL residents.
For the last few years, PPL has been a reliable and valuable community partner for St. Kate’s. Community Work and Learning has utilized PPL as a site for countless number of classes with a community work and learning component. Joan and Peter have encouraged college student participation and have worked with students/groups in one time experiences as well as ongoing participation. Along the way they have offered strong support and mentorship. In 2009, PPL was added as an America Reads tutoring site. America Reads tutors focus on literacy and homework while mentoring youth; these experiences are invaluable not only for PPL and its families, but also for St. Kate’s students to engage in a meaningful way in the community.
Joan and Peter’s creativity, energy, and wisdom enable our social justice work together to impact all participants-staff, youth, parents, college students, faculty-in ways we couldn’t have imagined possible.
As the St. Joseph Worker for the Center for Community Work and Learning, Laura Haynes has significantly impacted the office and the St. Kate’s community. The St. Joseph Worker Program is a one year volunteer experience for women who are passionate about social change, the program’s core values being justice, leadership, spirituality, and living simply in an intentional community. Laura is in her 2nd year of this program, and because of her work and leadership, Community Work and Learning (CWL) has been able to work with many more faculty, staff and students through classes and off-campus student employment than before she came to St. Kate’s.
Through Laura’s leadership, the number of CORE courses partnering with Community Work and Learning has seen tremendous growth (from 35 to 60 courses). This can be attributed to her professional skills and relationship building efforts both at St. Kate’s and with community partners. Laura’s work with the America Reads tutoring program allowed CWL to support more students’ leadership development and active civic engagement across Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Laura is genuine and passionate about social justice; she has truly impacted this campus, the community, and created a more engaged University. Her work will last far beyond her work in the office.
Barb Rogers is an example of a non-traditional student who utilizes her leadership skills to support her peers in the Weekend College Program. She successfully balances her academic work, owning her own child care business, being a parent and volunteering at numerous organizations. She has held numerous leadership positions at St. Kate’s. For the past 4 years, Barb has served on the Student Advisory Board. Additionally she has been a board liaison for 2 years.
This past year, Barb has served in a new position that she initiated in the Center for Community Work and Learning as the Weekend College Service-Learning Coordinator. In this position, she has worked with several new and existing courses to integrate community work and learning experiences into the curriculum. Additionally Barb has organized civic engagement opportunities as part of the co-curriculum with Brain Injury Association of Minnesota and Feed My Starving Children. She has successfully organized and managed these opportunities to extend service-learning and civic engagement opportunities to our Weekend College Program students. Barb is an example of a student who utilizes her leadership skills to the benefit of her community.
What to hear from Barb and other student leaders? Register for MNCC’s Annual Summit