Community Engagement Center seeks partners for Spring 2014
Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 16:09
Although the University of Nebraska at Omaha is not a community college, it is definitely a university devoted to the community. The addition of the new Community Engagement Center on campus, which will be opening in the spring of 2014, is a prime example of this devotion. The Community Engagement Center is the first of its kind and will allow UNO students and staff to engage with the surrounding Omaha community through partnering with nonprofit organizations. While the new building is still being constructed, plans to find partners for community engagement are also being built.
While the new engagement center will eventually allow UNO students to partner with the community, right now the center and staff are actively seeking organizations, businesses and student groups to partner with them. According to Sara Woods, the assistant to the senior vice chancellor for community engagement, many organizations have already showed interest in teaming up with the new center, including a variety of nonprofit, academic, volunteer and student groups. While some of these groups will be able to establish their own physical space in the new building, others are interested in partnering with the new center for different benefits. Woods said that these groups are “eager to use the Community Engagement Center to build new relationships focused on improving our community’s quality of life.”
Although the community is bound to benefit from the new building, the center and its partners will also open doors to many amazing opportunities for UNO students. The community center’s new partnerships will allow students to have access to a variety of opportunities for volunteer community service, including both individual service and organized service days, said Woods.
Since the new community center will be on the grounds of an academic institute, there will also be plenty of new learning opportunities through the Community Engagement Center partners.
“There will be multiple opportunities to learn about urgent community issues and promising solutions through additional service learning opportunities, brown bags and workshops,” said Woods.
Students will be able to attend community leadership training and participate in individual mentoring where they can gain invaluable leadership skills. If this isn’t enough, students will also have the chance to earn internships with the partners of the engagement center.
The Community Engagement Center is still looking for more potential partners. Although the first deadline for applications is Aug. 31, they will be accepting another round of applications in November. Community-focused student groups and initiatives are strongly encouraged to apply. These partnerships will undoubtedly benefit both the community and the university.