Grant will help expand community outreach

·2 min read

Aug. 16—HIGH POINT — A large grant from an international organization will help expand High Point University's community outreach programs.

Oak Foundation is making a $5.5 million grant, one of the largest in HPU's history, to help pay for the HPU Center for Community Engagement, which is expected to begin operating in the fall.

The Center for Community Engagement will serve as the central hub connecting the university and community resources by drawing a diverse group of low-income students into the university through scholarships and program support, the university said in a press release.

Millie Brobston, special interest program officer for Oak Foundation, said, "The center will bring students, faculty and community members together to promote growth and social change in the city of High Point and beyond."

The foundation, which has funded more than 5,400 grants worldwide since it was founded in 1983, describes itself as working to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged.

The grant money will provide the center with scholarships in the Bonner Leaders Program — Bonner Leaders each serve 300 hours in the community at a partner nonprofit organization — as well as fund students participating in service learning courses, HPU's AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program, the Civic Responsibility and Social Innovation degree program, and develop the student-run Volunteer Center.

The Rev. Joe Blosser, director of service learning at HPU and an associate professor of religion and philosophy, will lead the efforts at the center with help from students, faculty and staff to come alongside community members.

High Point University dedicates thousands of hours annually to community outreach programs giving back to the community in many ways, President Nido Qubein said.

"Oak Foundation's support is expanding opportunities for HPU students to be a part of a caring and values-based learning environment," Qubein said. "HPU students, faculty and staff give more than 110,000 hours of volunteer service each year. We are grateful to the foundation for partnering with the university to build more opportunities to serve the community."

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