UMass Dartmouth Anthropology/Philosophy major Ausubel Pichardo '16 co-founded Share Esperanza, a service organization working in Haiti, New Bedford, and his native Dominican Republic. Since its launch, Share Esperanza has successfully carried through several initiatives, which include creating a biology teaching lab at Ausubel’s former high school and donating more than 800 pounds of school and medical supplies to poor villages in the Dominican Republic.
Today Ausubel received the Student Civic Leadership Award at this morning’s Dr. Robert Lawrence Civic Engagement Summit held at UMass Dartmouth’s Woodland Commons. Also honored at today’s Summit were UMass Dartmouth Morgan James Peters, (aka, Mwalim), who received the Faculty Civic Leadership Award and Michele L. Roberts, Executive Vice President & Community Relations Officer of Bristol County Savings Bank, who received the Community Member Civic Leadership Award.
Share Esperanza created three national contests that take place in the Dominican Republic, which the group hopes will grow each year. The student-led organization will also soon host national photography and science contests for middle and elementary school grades. More recently, this past weekend, Share Esperanza members collected and purchased school supplies for the children of Haiti and the Dominican Republic for an upcoming mission this summer.
The Dr. Robert Lawrence Civic Engagement Summit brought together the University community and members of the SouthCoast civic and business community for a discussion on race, religion, and service-building bridges that empower and strengthen our communities. The University welcomed two distinguished keynote speakers for this year’s Summit: University of Notre Dame Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy David Campbell, Ph.D. and Director for the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education Reverend Brenda Girton-Mitchell J.D..
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching selected UMass Dartmouth to receive the 2015 Community Engagement Classification, recognizing the University's commitment to serving the SouthCoast and the Commonwealth. UMass Dartmouth was recognized as among the national Top 20 in community service. This nationwide designation is part of the 2014 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, and recognizes UMass Dartmouth and its students for their commitment to service-learning and volunteer service.