Lewis J. Burger Center receives national service award

On Sept. 10 the Lewis J. Burger Center for Student Leadership and Public Service was selected to receive a national student leadership award by the Jenzabar Foundation. Last year the foundation awarded $50,000 to support service-based student groups around the country.

The Burger Center will receive a $5,000 grant in recognition of its Service on Saturday program, which started last fall and has made volunteer opportunities more accessible to Bradley students who want to better serve the Peoria Community.

“The Student Leadership Award from the Jenzabar Foundation provides wonderful recognition for the hard work of our students,” said Director of the Lewis J. Burger Center Katherine McGinn.

According to the organization’s website, “the mission of the Jenzabar Foundation is to recognize and support the good works and humanitarian efforts of student leaders serving others across the global community. The Foundation seeks to foster a culture of service and to educate and inspire future generations to create a better world.”

Last year, Service on Saturday brought over 670 students together to serve Bradley and the Peoria community, and by the end of the year they raised about $194,000 for local charities and completed 48,500 hours of service.

“These funds will allow us to provide more service opportunities to students and continue to provide quality volunteerism to our Peoria area community,” said McGinn.

McGinn said she reached out to the Jenzabar Foundation’s executive director and determined that the Service on Saturday program was a good fit for the Jenzabar Award. At the end of August, she was notified that the Lewis J. Burger Center for Student Leadership and Public Service had been awarded one of eight Student Leadership Awards.

“This award is well deserved because we go out and serve beyond our campus,” said freshman special education major Megan Fasig.

So far, McGinn said Service on Saturday has been a success, and the 6,000 articles of clothing, 2,500 cans of food and 890 pints of blood donated last year proves the program right.

“Winning the Jenzabar Award was a very exciting experience,” said junior learning behavior specialist major Sam Babb. “It was great to be able to get SERVE’S mission out there and we are excited to expand our mission.”

The first Service on Saturday event of this semester will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 29.