PBHA Programs Awarded Grants From Public Service Fund

Forty-six public service programs received a total of over $150,000 from the College-run President’s Public Service Fund on Tuesday.

After praising the groups’ dedication to service, Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds personally presented club leaders with notifications indicating the size of their monetary awards at a reception at the Phillips Brooks House.

“It’s not easy to get on the Red Line and go over to the South End and sit down and tutor kids and make your way back and do all the other things you’ve got to do,” Hammonds said in an interview after the reception. “It takes extra effort, extra commitment, and I really do think we should honor that.”

The College endowment fund awarded 32 programs under the umbrella of the Phillips Brooks House Association, ranging from after-school enrichment programs to student groups dedicated to supporting the elderly. It also awarded funds to 14 independent service groups organized by the Office of the Public Service Network.

Gene A. Corbin, assistant dean of student life for public service, said that most awards range from $200 to $2,000. The Summer Urban Program, which runs ten Boston-area camps each year, received the largest grant of $100,000.

Student leaders said that the money in the grants was critical for the continuation of their organizations.

“For PBHA programs, PPSF is a really crucial funding source for us to continue to do the work we do in the community,” PBHA president Carolyn W. Chou ’13 said. “Specifically, it means after school programs can buy notebooks for the kids they work with... it also means that our summer shelter can continue to provide emergency housing for people over the summer, it means that our mentoring programs can think about how to better do college prep and do other things with their kids.”

Jennifer K. Cloutier ’13, treasurer of the Harvard College Special Olympics, said that her group’s approximately $1200 award would be instrumental in allowing the club to pursue its mission.

“It will mean not only that we get to have another year of full programming,” she said. “We get to take our athletes to places like Gillette Stadium, we get to integrate them with the Harvard community because we bring them here for a basketball game with the Harvard men’s basketball team.”

Other leaders said that the funding would enable their organization to expand and broaden their impact.

“It’ll help us branch out to other nursing homes, nursing homes that we can’t access through the T,” said Connie S. Zhong ’14, co-president of Music in Hospitals and Nursing Homes Using Entertainment as Therapy.

Zhong said that the money would help the organization reach these far-away nursing homes by providing the ability to rent a Zipcar.

—Staff writer Mercer R. Cook can be reached at mcook@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Rebecca D. Robbins can be reached at rrobbins@college.harvard.edu.

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