SBU Career Center Secures Competitive AmeriCorps Scholarship Funding

Urszula Zalewski

For each of the next three years, 50 fortunate Stony Brook students will be eligible to take advantage of the AmeriCorps Education Award, which enables them to receive a $1,175 scholarship. In return they must complete 300 hours of service work for local nonprofit organizations addressing unmet health community needs in disease prevention, health promotion and hunger initiatives.

The Career Center offers the program, which is a federally funded three-year grant with support from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Students may use the scholarship to pay for education costs at any college, university, or approved post-secondary institution or school-to-work program. A voucher may also be applied to pay back qualified student loans already incurred by the students.

In the process AmeriCorps members learn new skills, acquire leadership experience and gain a sense of satisfaction from positively impacting the lives of others.

“The application process this year was very competitive because of the high interest in community engagement programs among higher education institutions,” said Urszula Zalewski, Assistant Director of Experiential Programs and Project Director, Stony Brook AmeriCorps Program at the Career Center. “Stony Brook University’s AmeriCorps Program has a long history of outstanding achievements, and this past success helped us receive the additional funding for the new three-year cycle. We have 100 percent enrollment and 97-100 percent retention rates since 2004, which is a huge accomplishment.”

Since 2004 the Career Center has secured $777,054 in federal dollars to support SBU students and community partners through AmeriCorps community outreach programming at Stony Brook.

The Career Center reaches out to students through other departments, utilizing ZebraNet — the Community Service and Service-Learning website — to promote available positions and provide extensive details about the application process.

Stony Brook students have served the following organizations: Response of Suffolk County, The Elsie Owens Health Center, Four Seasons Nursing Home, Montefiore Hospital NYC, Oxfam America, Suffolk County Perinatal Coalition, Sunshine Prevention Center, the City Bar Justice Center, Town of Oyster Bay/G.A.P. Program, Hope House Ministries, Brooklyn Community Housing and Services, Sunrise on Wheels, and more.

Participating students address community needs in health, homelessness, hunger and poverty, performing tasks such as leading community health campaigns, conducting food collections and responding to natural disasters by providing relief for victims.

Click here for more information about Stony Brook’s AmeriCorps Program.

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