The Johns Hopkins University Gazette had a recent article about Hopkins students working with local non-profits as they pursue their degrees, which seems a fine introduction to the good work area non-profit and community groups have accomplished over the last number of months. Though the economy overall remains sluggish, non-profits have been able not only to continue their work but also to draw in (even if temporarily) the underemployed who want to better their communities with their extra time. Let us see some of that in action.
The Gazette article focussed on the work Hopkins undergraduates and entering graduate students have done with “…Connection Community Consultants Group, a now five-year-old program hosted by SOURCE, Johns Hopkinsâ€™ Student Outreach Resource Center that provides academic, professional and personal development opportunities for members of the schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health through community outreach and service-learning partnerships with community-based organizations.
“The Connection, as itâ€™s commonly called, won Program of the Year in 2008 from the American College Personnel Association, and last year won a Student Leadership Award from the Jenzabar Foundation, which recognizes and supports the humanitarian efforts of student leaders.” (DISCLOSURE: I am an alumnus of JHU and irregular reader of the Gazette)
The article focussed on a program meant to train students to work in public health, especially improving nutritional choices of young people. But its larger goal is to keep student leaders involved in the not-for-profit world beyond their degrees.
Whatever the success of engaging individual participants, the fact is: Maryland consistently produces non-profit jobs that outpace job losses in recessions. Most economists agree that the strengths of the Maryland/northern Virginia region include a well-educated and socially conscientious populace stimulated by work done at the Universities of Maryland, Johns Hopkins, Towson, Bowie, Loyola, Goucher, George Mason, and Stevenson (to name a few) and a well-established network of schools, community centers, and hospitals ready to share needs and resources with(in) the non-profit community.
For our part, we have recently tweeted the announcement that theis hosting a get-together to learn about community-based projects in Baltimore. The event takes place on 8 March, 6-8PM. Call Abby 410-448-5663 ext 122, for further details.
The onlineis just too vast to pretend to cover on any one blog, much less any one entry. The growth in this sector is a positive development in itself, of course. But as the economy crawls toward improvement we want to be sure the commitment to local efforts continues to grow. Strategic use of social media, up-to-date & standards-compliant websites, email blasts, and professionally designed publications all send signals that your organization is doing better than merely keeping up.