Application for public service grant will open Monday

Beginning Monday, students can apply to receive a portion of a $20,000 public service grant endowed by the University to support student-led service projects.

The applications will be reviewed by a commission of four student volunteers on a rolling basis after the application goes live Jan. 25.

“The Public Service Grant Commission encourages innovative, student-led service opportunities through financial and operational support to mobilize individuals and organizations in GW’s spirit of service,” said Jacqueline Hackett, the Presidential Administrative Fellow for the Center of Civic Engagement and Public Service, in an e-mail.

The grant will be divided among several applicants as determined by the Public Service Grant Commission, which is supervised by Hackett.

Hackett said preference would be given to innovative project ideas that “encourage collaboration between multiple student organizations or populations,” and that all projects must serve an “in-need population.”

Originally announced in October, the grant was placed under initial direction of the Student Association, which was given the charge of selecting students to serve on the commission. The commission’s job is to now review applications and present recommendations for funding to members of Student Academic and Support Services, including Peter Konwerski, associate vice president for Student and Academic Support Services and chief administrative officer.

“The Public Service Grant Commission is a great opportunity for students to do great service projects, and I hope that many people have an opportunity to be a part of creating projects, participating in service projects, and getting involved in general,” Student Association President Julie Bindelglass said.

The students serving on the commission are freshman Josh Bailey, senior Andi Israel, sophomore Joyce Ma, and senior Alya Pelleg. They were selected by the SA for their previous service experience and general application of interest.

Bindelglass said the SA will continue to provide support but the commission will be a separate entity from the SA.

“The commission will not be able to fund all projects, or to give the financial support that all groups are asking for, but can remain a resource to help navigate other funding sources, ways to gain student interest, and community organizations to work with,” Hackett added.

Konwerski said in an e-mail that the Center of Civic Engagement and Public Service is collaborating with other departments, such as the Office of Community Service and the Office of Government Relations, to support developing student service projects throughout the year in conjunction with Michelle Obama’s service challenge to the University community.

Bindelglass said, “The grant enables students to make service part of their daily lives, which is what the Michelle Obama service challenge is all about.”

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