Examples of Impact

The programs of the foundation showcase accomplishments of schools and communities in civic engagement and motivate students to become social entrepreneurs. Here are some examples of impact, summarized by some of the program hosts.


Through supporting the integration of academic study and community engagement, the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation has had a powerful impact on Stetson University students and faculty as well as area neighborhoods. The Academic Service Entrepreneur (CASE) Grant Program has encouraged Stetson students and their faculty mentors to develop projects that address needs identified by local communities. Mary Gossett, a Stetson School of Music student and our first CASE grant winner, was able to begin a community choir for children who would otherwise not be able to receive formal vocal training. With support from the JRCPF, Mary established the choir and provided for it to continue, with other Stetson students, after her graduation. Another student, Education major Carol Larson, used JRCPF support to develop a program that helped at-risk children at a local elementary school to learn that helping others could build their own sense of self-worth. Groups of Stetson students, similarly, have partnered with JRCPF to provide after-school programs for the children of immigrant farm workers and a program to support the reintegration of the homeless into the work force and private housing. The CASE grant competition has also been especially valuable in raising faculty awareness about learning in and with communities. Faculty skeptical about the academic integrity of learning outside of the classroom, have been impressed by the lasting lessons that result when students use their academic preparation to solve real-world problems. Finally, we are happy to be working with JRCPF to build a national database of service-learning projects that will inform and inspire others to use what is learned in the classroom to benefit communities in need. Stetson appreciates the leadership of JRCPF in developing partnerships between colleges and local communities, and between the academic program and service-learning in the world, and we look forward to many years of good work together.

Dr. Gregory Sapp
Hal S. Marchman Chair, of Civic and Social Responsibility
Stetson University, Florida

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Winning the National Carter Partnership Award has brought university and citywide attention to the importance and external validation of Portland State University's decade and a half focus on building and sustaining community-university partnerships.

Having the JRCPF competition on campus, and showcasing the finalists and winner at the annual Simon Benson Award Dinner, has further raised the level of attention to community collaborations. Also, 26 departments or interdepartmental teams at PSU submitted substantial materials in application for the PSU - JRCPF award. This provided those teams an opportunity to envision themselves as exemplary leaders in community-university partnership work.

Dr. Kevin Kecskes
Associate Vice Provost for Engagement & Director, Community-University
Partnerships, Center for Academic Excellence
Portland State University, Oregon

Our Stroke Camp Northwest website is now launched. We are delighted with the outcome, and especially pleased that because of the Carter Partnership award we were able to deliver what we think is a great site in record time. Your support also has allowed us to produce some beautiful promotional flyers that our students are distributing at regional stroke centers and other community locations. Stroke survivors with aphasia and their families are especially difficult to reach - they are extremely isolated after medical care is withdrawn - so all of these efforts are especially important to our outreach.


Our deepest thanks to you and to President and Mrs. Carter.

Dr. Lynn E. Fox
Associate Professor
Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences
Portland State University

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From Kalamazoo College

Award Statement

The Foundation bestowed its highest honor, the Campus Community Partnership Award, on the Kalamazoo College - Kalamazoo Public Schools partnership in June 2005 at the Governor's Service Awards. To people everywhere, President and First Lady Carter stand for principled engagement in the world. We are inspired by their work for peace, justice and a sustainable world. Because of their stature, and because of the outstanding partnerships represented by the other finalists, the Partnership Award is an unparalleled honor and a humbling responsibility.

This prestigious award has raised the profile of our partnership and of our respective institutions at a key moment in the life of the Kalamazoo community. Last November (2005), a group of anonymous donors funded a program called the Kalamazoo Promise, which pays up to full tuition for four years for all KPS graduates who attend public colleges and universities in Michigan. The amount of tuition covered depends on length of time in the school system, ranging from 100% of tuition for students who have been in the district since kindergarten to 65% of tuition for students who enter the district by the 9th grade. It will require creativity and resourcefulness to prepare our public school students to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, and commitment from every sector in our community. Thanks to this Partnership Award, the partnership between Kalamazoo Public Schools and The Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Institute for Service-Learning at Kalamazoo College serves as a community model for collaborations that work. We intend to leverage the monetary award to garner support for a new math and science enrichment afterschool program on the campus of Kalamazoo College that will prepare underrepresented minority middle school students for college. Programs such as the one we propose are needed in Kalamazoo now more than ever if the full potential of "The Promise" is to be realized.

The prestige conferred by the Award also affirms the value of the work of the Underwood Stryker Institute for Service-Learning at a critical juncture in the history of Kalamazoo College. Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, the 17th President of Kalamazoo College, assumed her responsibilities this year. Dr. Wilson-Oyelaran and the Board of Trustees of the College have claimed civic engagement for global citizenship as a distinctive feature of liberal learning at Kalamazoo College, and we are hopeful that the capital campaign will reflect this as a priority.

We believe students, faculty, and the community offer one another rich and complex learning opportunities from which all can prosper. Service-learning provides opportunities for the intellectual and personal growth of students while placing a premium on the central purpose of service-to meet community-identified needs. Community members actively shape the scope and nature of the collaboration, emphasizing both the assets and the needs of their constituencies. Civic engagement at Kalamazoo College extends beyond the KPS partnership, to include community-based research, neighborhood development, health care projects, and public art, among others. We measure success in test scores and graduation rates among Kalamazoo Public Schools students; in more culturally competent health care options for Hispanics; in stronger connections among neighbors in our city; in the implementation of innovative juvenile justice models; in new opportunities for community members to engage in creative expression.

We also frame success in terms of student engagement, encouraging and guiding students to cross boundaries of culture, race, and class to learn about the worlds and themselves, and to acquire the skills and knowledge to work for the common good. With our historic emphasis on study abroad, in which 80% of our students participate each year, our service-learning initiatives contribute to a quickening desire on the part of students to contribute to meaningful change in the world. Last year, Kalamazoo College was first in the nation in the per capita number of graduates who joined the Peace Corps.

Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter embody the highest qualities of global citizenship, a quality we strive to enact as an institution and to impart among our students. The Partnership Award affirms our effort, and emboldens and enables us to expand our work, renewing both our sense of its importance and our joy in its accomplishment.

Alison Geist, Director
The Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Institute for Service-Learning

Michigan Campus Compact photo

Included in the Michigan Campus Compact Annual Report

The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration, organized by Michigan Campus Compact, honors and recognizes exemplary collaborations, undertaken by a college or university in partnership with a community group, which address critical areas of public need. The award recipients receive $10,000 in support of their program, to be divided between their community partner and the campus. The award is named for President and Mrs. Carter as a tribute to their lifelong efforts to develop and support safe, healthy, and caring communities throughout the world. In public office and in their daily lives, they have consistently supported public improvement efforts based on cooperation, mutual learning, and shared responsibility. The purposes of the Carter Partnership Award are to:

  • Honor a sustained institutional commitment that has resulted in tangible community impact.
  • Provide recognition for outstanding campus-community partnerships in Michigan.
  • Increase the number and the effectiveness of campus-community partnerships and promote college/university citizenship.
  • Encourage cooperation among education, community, government, and business leaders on critical social and economic issues.
  • Increase public awareness of and support for campus-community partnerships.
Michigan Campus Compact photo Michigan Campus Compact photo Michigan Campus Compact photo

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After receiving Minnesota's inaugural Award in 2004, the Grant Community School Collaborative faced a challenge to their very existence. The Duluth School Board, facing tremendous budgetary pressures, seriously considered closing two of its schools, including the Grant Community School, which is supported by the Collaborative. Ultimately, the Board decided not to close the school, and the Grant Community School Collaborative attributes this in part to their award from the foundation. According to Collaborative leader Jay Newcomb "The case for saving the school was based on two arguments: the school was needed by the community and the kids, and that we were doing an effective job. One piece of evidence for our effectiveness cited again and again was the Carter Award".

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While it is not an easy matter to measure the impact of such an award upon the recipients it is necessary to reflect upon the nature and quality of life following the award primarily so that we remain careful to be thankful for the opportunity to win it and for all of the ways that Aunt Maggie's Kitchen Table and Wesleyan have been affected by it.

This type of recognition causes many to pay attention to us who would not have done so otherwise. Many people see the Carter Award as an affirmation symbol. Even though Aunt Maggie's Kitchen Table is in a partnership with Wesleyan it still has to maintain itself as an independent nonprofit corporation and the award has helped in that part of the work as well.

With visibility, several student organizations wanted to learn more about Aunt Maggie's after we returned as the first place winners of the award. The general interest level was increased. There was an increase in student interest regarding the opportunity to do volunteer work at Aunt Maggie's and several professors required their classes to use Aunt Maggie's as a site for completing assigned volunteer work.

It is quite clear that visibility alone is not enough to make an organization healthy but when it is coupled with good goals and staying focused it can be an invaluable tool. This is one part of the impact that is somewhat difficult to measure but we can see opportunities that have come to Aunt Maggie's that would not have been open to us before. One of the main areas where we see this is in the new partnerships that we have been able to develop. We have developed a partnership with Church's Chicken which has brought us assistance with a job fair, collecting school supplies and providing materials for our clothes closet, one of the local Kroger stores along with the City of Macon's Unionville Recreation Center is partnering with us to help facilitate our Youth Entrepreneur Project, Toys R'Us has invited us to apply for funds for Operation Lady Bug (our garden project) which will be available for next year's garden, the Macon Housing Authority has assisted us with more activities such as providing transportation for the children attending MidSummer Macon Arts Program and other transportation and financial needs, the local Community Foundation and Knight Foundation included us in their annual report along with photographs and an anonymous gift of $23,000.00 worth of software has been given to us to help facilitate our initiative to assist in bridging the "digital divide" in Anthony Homes. Macon State College will be providing interns to teach computer classes this fall and there are eleven parents enrolled in the first set of classes which will begin mid-September.

Two of the local African American churches have adopted us and are offering us assistance both financially and in providing opportunities for the children to participate in various programs sponsored by them.

We are also developing a partnership with Home Depot which will help us to implement our initiative to provide small bookshelves and books to fill them for each of the children who participate on a regular basis in the after school program. The corporate office of Home Depot will be doing a book drive for us and the local store will assist with the construction of the bookshelves.

The most important point about the impact of receiving the Carter Award is that it has given us a kind of validation that we could not have gotten otherwise and that has opened doors for us. But, as is true with all new opportunity there is a new level of challenges and responsibilities that come with them and Aunt Maggie's Kitchen Table, Inc is working very diligently to be a good steward of all that is resulting from the blessing of receiving the Carter Award.

Aunt Maggie's Kitchen Table and the partnership with Wesleyan College can serve as a national model and perhaps an international model for the manner in which community development and transformation can be achieved. It is a remarkable innovation for higher education and needs to be showcased more in that arena.

Prof. Catherine Meeks
Director, Wesleyan Center for Community Engagement and Services and Professor,
Socio-Cultural Studies, Wesleyan College.

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