CAMPus Impact, a domestic immersion experience offered through the Center for Peacemaking, was the inaugural winner of the International Town and Gown Association’s Intern Challenge, designed to highlight an effective student-led community project in collaboration with a local government or nonprofit.
CAMPus Impact focuses on community engagement in Milwaukee, in concert with Near West Side Partners, Inc. This past October, students spent fall break in the Near West Side, working with multiple nonprofits. The services provided to the community included yard work, demolition, cleaning, working with children, organizing and painting.
“Our emphasis on neighborhood engagement has informed student perceptions about the residents who live there,” said senior Elizabeth Killian, president of CAMPus Impact. “In the process, Near West Side residents’ perceptions of students have improved because of the concerted effort CAMPus Impact has made to embrace the larger community.”
With the award, Near West Side Partners Inc., will receive a donation from ITGA in the name of CAMPus Impact.
CAMPus Impact participates in a fall break service and immersion experience in Milwaukee’s Near West Side to learn about social issues in Milwaukee and how Marquette students are uniquely situated to learn about and respond to these challenges. The trips consist of volunteering at a variety of nonprofits, as well as nightly reflections and discussions about service and justice in Milwaukee. CAMPus is a creative name identifying all seven neighborhoods in the Near West Side to include: Concordia, Cold Springs Park, Avenues West, Merrill Park, Martin Drive, Piggsville and “us” for the students of Marquette.
The ITGA is a resource for addressing challenges, emerging issues and opportunities between and amongst institutions of higher education and the communities in which they reside. The organization strengthens town/gown partnerships by providing a network of professionals and resources, as well as identifying and sharing promising practices, innovative solutions and professional development opportunities for municipal and university communities.