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Service in Our DNA

NC State received the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement–a Presidential Award – as part of the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. NC State is one of only five Presidential Awardees nationwide, and one of two in the “general community service” category.

The award was presented Monday (March 12) by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education at the American Council on Education annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Service in Our DNA

“NC State is very proud to have been selected as a Presidential Awardee,” says Chancellor Randy Woodson. “Service is part of NC State’s DNA. From alternative service break projects to our new First Year Student Leadership program, community service and service-learning play a transformational role in NC State’s culture and are university strategic priorities.”

NC State offers myriad opportunities for its students, faculty and staff to get involved in giving back. Although numbers are difficult to track, NC State conservatively estimates that more than 21,000 of its 34,000 students take part in either community-service or service-learning projects. Service-learning opportunities are available through special classes that include a service component. The university conservatively estimates that its people performed 330,000 hours of community service in the 2010-11 academic year.

“Whether it’s packing meals to support school lunch feeding programs around the world or donating blood to help people here in Raleigh, NC State is actively engaged in the global community” says Mike Giancola, director of NC State’s Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service. “Serving others is an important part of the NC State experience. We realize that when we work together in partnership with others, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. And our students are leading the way with projects like the Krispy Kreme Challenge, Service NC State and Service Raleigh.”

Hands On Help

NC State was lauded for some major projects that set the highest standards of service. The university’s Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) program utilizes college students to improve children’s reading fluency and comprehension with research-based and user-friendly strategies. About 90 NC State students helped more than 700 local low-income students read. The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management provides recreation programs for children, families, adults and senior adults. More than 80 youth and adults participated in environmentally related projects, including a community garden, and more than100 children were tutored at two Communities-In-Schools of Wake County. NC State’s Project YES (Youth Extension Services) is a national internship program engaging college students in service to meet the needs of military families. YES expands the resources of the Yellow Ribbon Program and other youth and teen programs. NC State interns traveled to military events in 21 states and delivered youth programs to 894 children from families with one or more deployed family members.

The Corporation for National and Community Service sponsors the honor roll. For more information about the award, visit