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Pomona College Named to President's Community Service Honor Roll

Pomona College has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service 2010 Honor Roll, which recognizes institutions for their commitment to and achievement in community service. Colleges and universities are selected based on scope and innovation of service projects; the school's commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships; the percentage of student participation in service activities; incentives for service; and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

Pomona's application made clear that students do not wait to depart the campus before bearing “their added riches in trust for mankind,” as admonished by the inscription on the college gates. In 2009-10, more than 400 students spent more than 24,000 hours on community service projects coordinated through the Draper Center and other Pomona offices and departments. Another 229 were enrolled in community-based learning classes.

The Draper Center featured three programs on the application that showed Pomona's commitment to serving the local community.

  • The Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS), a four-week academic and college prep summer program that serves 90 rising high school sophomores through rising seniors from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education. The program provides participants with small core courses to work on fundamental math and writing skills, electives, a community of scholars, the chance to live in a college dorm, and the opportunity to work with Pomona faculty on a significant research project. Now entering its ninth year, PAYS has graduated approximately 180 students, all of whom have been accepted to four-year colleges.
  • Theater for Young Audiences, a collaboration with Fremont Academy (in Pomona), in which Pomona College and middle school students collaborate to adapt and produce a Shakespeare play. The play is adapted using the middle school students’ writing about their lives. The college students provide mentorship, co-create the curriculum, lead activities and discussion groups, and support the creation and performance of the production in the spring, as well as provide academic tutoring.
  • Saturday Tongan Education Program (STEP), a partnership with the Pomona College Asian American Resource Center and the First Tongan Methodist Church of Pomona, which provides tutoring and mentoring to members of the Tongan community between the ages of 3 and 20. The program also organizes an annual health clinic and community fair.
  • Other programs included to demonstrate the College's range of community service were Learning IN Collaboration (LINC), which partners Pomona tutors with under-resourced schools in the Claremont Unified School District; Alternabreak; and the Pomona College Internship Program and its support of local non-profit organizations.

    “It's really wonderful for Pomona to be recognized this way,” said Pomona College Vice President Miriam Feldblum. “Our students do so much in the community from mentoring and tutoring to working on school gardens, on the Women's Prison Library Project and dozens of individually-initiated projects in our community and around the world. It's great to see their work acknowledged.”

    The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. For 2010, 641 colleges and universities were named to the list for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.