March 22, 2016, West Palm Beach, Florida – As the holiest of weeks in Lent approached, students at Rosarian Academy began to set their minds and hearts on service to the community. Two special projects exemplified this focus.
A team of 18 seventh- and eighth-grade Rosarian Academy students, the Glocalizers, was selected as the top recipient and voted audience favorite, winning $18,000, in the Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank Challenge.
The Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank offered local middle and high school students an opportunity to create and implement innovative solutions to community issues and social problems in Palm Beach County. More than 35 submissions were received, and Rosarian's Glocalizers team was selected as one of nine finalists.
For this challenge, the Glocalizers are partnering locally with The Lord's Place to fight youth homelessness in our cities through promoting awareness, making policy recommendations and active participation.
The Glocalizers pitched their idea live, on stage on March 17 at the Harriet Himmel Theater at CityPlace in front of four judges/ philanthropist-investors: William Meyer, Julie Fisher Cummings, Danielle H. Moore, and Eric Becker. Each personally committed $25,000. Finalists had the opportunity to receive up to $15,000 for their idea and will receive a year of mentoring by a contributing philanthropist.
Seventh-graders Devyn Dyett, Javier Keogh, and Jack Shepherd led the Glocalizers’ four-minute pitch to eliminate homelessness for Palm Beach County youth by developing a “Hexa Village” made out of recycled shipping containers that would serve as temporary housing units. They outlined their goal to build a cost-effective, safe, inclusive, and sustainable community. The team also presented a model of the village – built by seventh-grader Jack Fields – and a computerized model of the container home.
Rosarian Academy students participating in the Philanthropy Tank challenge include Meredith Anderson, Gemma Conroy, Bella Vega-Dadurian, Hope Diffenderfer, Devyn Dyett, Gabriela Faber, Jack Fields, Isabella Fiorentino, Marlowe Flom, Liam Groth, Bettina Johnston, Javier Keough, Sofia Mendez, Johnny Molina, Drew O'Brien, Thomas Raymond, Jack Shepherd, Lacey Steele, and Van Gronberg. Read a related article by Cynthia Thuma in the Palm Beach Daily News.
Led by Rosarian Academy’s National Junior Honor Society (NJHS), 15 students spent March 12 painting the Palm Beach Gardens home of a family of four. The mother suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and the father from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
As part of its sponsorship of Paint Your Heart Out, the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County provided the recycled paint and painting supplies at no cost to the homeowner. In addition to painting, the students also helped with landscaping provided by Rosarian parent Serena Wilson.
“It was a great event because the students had an opportunity to serve a local family in need while also learning valuable life skills,” said Patrick Hansen, Rosarian teacher and NJHS moderator. “The students donated their entire Saturday morning, which really reflects their character and commitment to service."
Paint Your Heart Out Palm Beach County is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization that offers assistance to the elderly, disabled and low-income families with children. Through Paint Your Heart Out, more than 80 homes are painted or repaired yearly.
Feature photo: Eighth graders Laura Narcisse (front) and Daisy Cook paint the home of a family in Palm Beach Gardens.
March 21, 2016, Torrance, California – Providence Health and Services, Southern California – where Sister Nancy Jurecki, OP, ministers as chief mission integration officer – recently received the Mission Leadership Award for its newly founded Wellness Center in the underserved Los Angeles port neighborhood of Wilmington, California.
The award recognizes programs and services in the Providence health care system that demonstrate “extraordinary community-focused service.” Some 13 outreach programs were nominated for this award from the five western states served by Providence: Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
The Wellness Center brings a range of services to this low-income community: diabetes self-management, summer camps for children, Aztec dance classes, physical activity programs for people of all ages, grief support groups, guidance in health insurance enrollment, and home visit programs to families of newborns. The center opened in late 2014.
“This project required the creativity, hard work, and commitment of many people, and the success is tremendous,” Sister Nancy said. “The Wellness Center exemplifies our core strategy – Creating Healthier Communities, Together – by working with our community partners to identify community needs and collaborate to create solutions.”
For more information on the Center – and to hear Wilmington residents speak of the impact that the Center has had on their lives, view this video.