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Learning in Practice 2014: Excellence in Community Service

Chuck Parker

Gold

Apollo Education Group Inc.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the poverty line income guide marks $23,850 or less for a family of four. U.S. Census data from a November 2012 report states more than 16 percent of the population lived in poverty, including more than 20 percent of American children.

Apollo Education Group Inc. partnered with EdAssist because both organizations believe education is a primary way to change lives and break the vicious cycle of poverty. The two organizations selectedThe Bright Horizons Foundation for Children’s Bright Spaces as the beneficiary for a recent community service project.

The project took place at La Posada, a Bright Space agency partner in the Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago. La Posada houses homeless families for 120 to 180 days while they receive services and support needed to establish permanent housing. That support may include food, clothing, counseling, job placement help and access to medical care. Its staff is small and depends heavily on volunteers to make facility upgrades.

Project leaders and teams were formed to set up a computer lab complete with donated computers and software like Windows and educational programs, assemble backpacks filled with school supplies and other projects for two months in preparation for a community service day event held in March.

Post event, La Posada had new cabinets for storage, an Eat Healthy mural for the kitchen to providenutritional informational, a new stove and oven as well as a $10,000 cash donation.

All volunteers said they’re proud of Apollo Education and EdAssist’s commitment to service, they now understand their company’s investment in making the community better, and the project inspired them to want to do more to help their community going forward. About 97 percent of volunteers said the project helped enhance relationships withco-workers and teammates.