Ask Dr. Carter

How do social responsibility and community involvement initiatives add to the students’ educational experience, contribute to their ability to find gainful employment, and ultimately add to the University’s bottom line?

Civic engagement initiatives allow Johnson C. Smith University students to grow as individuals while gaining a deeper understanding of themselves, their community and our increasingly global society. When our students apply intellectual and social skills to solving problems, they have a role in improving society by working for social justice, caring for the environment and building assets in underserved communities.  These experiences can positively impact students’ sense of ethics and decision-making as they develop a lifelong commitment to social responsibility. 

Community involvement often allows students to interact with business professionals, politicians and grassroots leaders.  Some volunteer roles place a student side-by-side with employees from corporations where social responsibility is a priority, affording them an opportunity for networking and exposure to a variety of career options, including public service. The civically-engaged scholar may these transform experiences into creative entrepreneurial ideas with sustainable value that address commercial, social or environmental critical needs of the community.   

Engagement in the local community also leads to paid and unpaid internships for our students. Students who participated in the RUN-DNC project were also interns for ABC News during the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which gained international attention for the University while exposing the students to great leaders. Students in our Foster Village Network Center program mentor foster care youths in local schools. Many of our students who are part of our foster care initiative worked as interns at LPL Financial in summer 2013. 

Acknowledging the link between community engagement and economic development, JCSU promotes a culture of servant leadership, applied research and social entrepreneurship to develop civically engaged and socially conscious graduates with a deepened commitment to social responsibility in their families, communities and careers after their college years. 

This answer was posted on: 7/25/2013 5:05 pm