Kristina Bushey ’14 has immersed herself in community service. A double major in early inclusive education and history, Bushey has served as a site coordinator for Partners for Learning, an organization that, like many other community service efforts on campus, is supported by the Nazareth Fund. The Partners for Learning program engages Nazareth students in collaboration with children, teachers, and staff at nine urban sites. The partnerships formed are designed to help raise the academic performance and educational aspirations of the children, while heightening the social awareness of Nazareth students and sharpening their professional skills. Such development has certainly taken place for Bushey. “As a site coordinator for Partners for Learning, I’ve been the liaison between the program and the school sites so that all went smoothly,” she says. “That’s been great practical experience. But I’ve also valued the opportunity to work within a diverse community, which will help me when I become an elementary school teacher, my desired career goal.”
Providing service to the community has always been a core principle of Nazareth College. In recognition of its achievement in community service, Nazareth was named, for the first time ever, a Presidential Awardee in the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This rare distinction is the highest honor that a college or university can receive, at the federal level, for a commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.
One of only five schools selected, Nazareth was cited for its achievements in early childhood education, which aligns with President Obama’s education and innovation priorities. Each year since the Honor Roll’s inception in 2006, Nazareth has been named to this prestigious list, twice making the “with distinction” category. This year, more than a thousand colleges and universities applied to the Honor Roll. “We are honored to receive this prestigious award—and owe much of it to the students themselves,” says President Daan Braveman. “They are the energy driving our commitment, and they are the ones who make it all happen.”