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Digest: Volume 2, Issue 5
August 2013



To register for the event, please click here or you can contact Deirdre Healy at dhealy@umassd.edu or 508.999.8641.

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Engaging Fall River Youth During the Summer 

This summer the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, in collaboration with the Fall River Public Schools and the Sustainability Initiative, hosted three summer camps for 175 elementary and middle school students. Each camp was held for four days and included fun, interactive, hands-on learning that engaged students.

The first of the three camps, a Leadership Camp, hosted 50 students who learned about communication, teambuilding, community, and diversity through three focus areas - arts/history, health and wellness, and leadership.  Students went on a tour of the campus and ate in the student cafeteria.  Students were awarded certificates of achievement and leadership t-shirts to commemorate their participation.

The next two camps were Sustainability Camps that hosted 125 students, with 85 of them being English Language Learners.  They attended classes on tree identification, environmental health, food systems, renewable energies and other sustainability issues; went on tours of the campus forest, engineering labs, academic buildings, and dormitories; and went on field trips to Share the Harvest Farm at the YMCA in Dartmouth, Round-Hill Beach, and the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River to view an underwater robot.

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Celebration of Service at the Bay Sox Game   

This article originally appeared in
News from Gifts To Give
Click here for original article

On August 2nd, SouthCoast Serves in partnership with the New Bedford Bay Sox held a celebration of service that coincided with the Bay Sox's final home game of the season.

The celebration included an initiative to collect new, clean socks for the Mercy Meals and More "Sole Food Foot Clinic". People who donated a pair of socks were given free admission to the game. The night proved to be exciting for all involved as the Bay Sox won 7-0 and SouthCoast Serves was able to collect 80 pairs of socks!

SouthCoast Serves also used the night to recognize service superstar, Camron Frazier, a New Bedford High Sophomore, who has been volunteering at GiftsToGive since he was in the 7th grade. He enrolled in the SouthCoast 60 pledge (completing 60 hours of community service in 1 year) on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and completed the hours by June.  To acknowledge his commitment to service, SouthCoast Serves presented Camron with a Certificate of Appreciation and a certificate for a free pizza from Domino's.

Camron is truly the epitome of a service superstar as he continues to volunteer. Most recently, he committed to support Mercy Meals and More in downtown New Bedford. He wakes up at 4:30 on Saturday mornings and walks (because the bus does not run that early on Saturday morning) a mile to the downtown church where the breakfast program is held, to help them prepare and serve.

This celebration was a great show of the strength of service here on the SouthCoast. For more information on the SouthCoast 60 pledge, please visit www.south-coast-serves.org/pledge.

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Leduc Center Partners with the Donald C. Howard Leadership Program to Offer Sapphire Award  

Starting this academic year, UMass Dartmouth students will have a another option to earn a valuable leadership credential during their college career. The Leduc Center, in conjunction with the Donald C. Howard Leadership Program, is pleased to announce the Sapphire Leadership Award. Prior to the Sapphire Award, the Donald C. Howard Leadership Program offered awards solely for leadership. The requirements to earn the Sapphire Leadership Award, which include 30 hours of service per semester and completion of 6 Donald C. Howard Leadership workshops and 1 Leduc Center training, highlights the complementary relationship between leadership and civic engagement and is one of the first Awards offered through the Program that specifically highlights an area where leadership is applied. 

The Donald C. Howard Leadership Program, which was designed to provide students with leadership experience and training, offers interactive workshops where students have the opportunity to learn the theories of leadership, determine who they are as a leader, and acquire the means and the tools to apply what they learned to their everyday lives. For the Sapphire Award, the student's service activities, which are approved and tracked by the Leduc Center, provide students with the opportunity to apply the leadership skills they have acquired to real-life situations. According to Deirdre Healy, Director of Community Service and Partnerships at the Leduc Center, "this program is a great opportunity to develop skills that will help them to make a difference in our communities and the leadership banquet is always a wonderful recognition event." 

For more information about this exciting opportunity please contact Deirdre Healy at dhealy@umassd.edu or 508.999.8641.

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A Leadership Experience in Congressman Keating's Office: A Student Reflection

by Matthew Murphy, UMD Alumnus  

Leadership is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as having the "capacity to lead" and though this is certainly not wrong, I found out just how far from the truth it really is. Leadership as taught to me is many things that include, but are not limited to, physical characteristics that are indicative of leadership capability, the different levels of hands-on work versus conceptual knowledge of how to manage people, and how you interact with certain types of people in the work place. This is exactly what is necessary to make up what a leader is and how you can become a great leader.

The only problem is, is that everything in that first paragraph is good on paper, but has little to do with the real world. This is exactly what I learned by being placed in a real world scenario. My internship with Congressman Keating has shown me that learning all that you can from books doesn't help you in the slightest unless you can actively apply it.

I didn't know how I, as just an intern, could be a leader when a leader had already been established. After the first day, it became very clear to me, that being a leader was about doing something for the betterment of the community. One of my first assignments with which I was tasked was to help set up a white ribbon campaign (this is a campaign designed to promote men who are against domestic violence and violence against women, in general) and complete a memo that included who we would invite to the campaign, what have other organizations done in the past, and really provide a general idea of what the campaign was all about. After I completed the memo, I was informed that it had been sent to the Congressman's staff as well as the Congressman himself so that this campaign could be underway as soon as possible.

This was a very proud moment for me because I knew this was the type of leadership that was to be expected of me. I was one of the forerunners to the assembling of an event that has major ramifications to the betterment of all of society. It became a very significant source of pride for me because I have taken part in leadership-type things in the past, but none that so directly and profoundly helped the community of which I was a part.

After the horrid events that transpired during the Boston Marathon, a vigil service was held around the Campanile to pay respects to those who were injured or killed during the tragedy. Congressman Keating spoke at the vigil, and now I had to represent the Congressman in a public sphere. I now had to present myself in a manner which best represented the Congressman to not only my fellow classmates, but to the media as well. There was a very important leadership role that I and all members of the Congressman's office had to take, and that was one of inspiration because even though the vigil was a somber event, we had to inspire strength in others, and the community as a whole.

Leadership is not what can be learned in books, or academic writings. It is what you make of yourself and how you respond to different situations that makes a leader. This experience has given me the confidence to put myself out there, hold my convictions, and, if you want to be successful in life, the opportunities are out there, but they will certainly not be handed to you, you must go out and take them. I also learned that leadership is very contrary to what is assumed by most people. When you are first starting out into the real world, the leadership positions that you take will very rarely be in the big picture; rather, it is applied in many different varieties on a microcosmic level. It is all about how you choose to react to those situations that distinguish leaders-whether you actively pursue the solution to whatever goal you are trying to reach, or whether you are complacent and take a side line standpoint to the goal-it is all about what you do, in even the smallest of capacities, that makes you a true leader. 

Editor's Note: Matthew Murphy graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2013 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Leadership and Civic Engagement. 

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Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Vision 

This year, August 28th marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the inspirational "I Have a Dream" speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fifty years ago, more than 200,000 Americans gathered in Washington, DC for a political rally which became a key moment in the struggle for civil rights in the United States. Dr. King inspired millions across the world with his famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has become a nationally recognized Day of Service. This year, UMass Dartmouth, SouthCoast Serves and the surrounding community joined together on MLK Day to engage in a Day of Service at GiftstoGive. A video of the event was compiled by Joann Breault and we offer it here in recognition of the 50th anniversary and in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision. To watch the video, please click here.

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Outreach > Leduc Center for Civic Engagement > Digest > August 2013