From money management tips to themed camps and festivals, Mays business students have enriched the lives of the youngsters who frequent the Lincoln Recreation Center in College Station. To recognize those contributions, the program is being given the “Keeping the Dream Alive” award at the Lincoln Center’s Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and Musical Tribute on Saturday (Jan. 15).

The award is part of the tribute to King held each year at the center at 1000 Eleanor St. in College Station.

The award is being given to honor and show appreciation for the contributions of the sophomore business majors who take the required BUSN 205 course in which teams of students pursue service-learning projects with local nonprofit community agencies.

The students learn to communicate with the business leaders and come up with a plan, to work on teams and to see the impact of their projects on their young clients. The business partners learn first-hand how the Aggie spirit can come to life.

The semester-long projects are valued at about $1,000, but Cheletia M. Johnson, the Lincoln Center’s assistant supervisor, says she can’t possibly put a price on the benefits the students have brought to the center. “There have been so many projects, it has just been overwhelming,” she said, laughing. “We like to give them a lot of freedom on what they come up with, so they are only limited by their own imaginations.”

Fall festivals, Easter egg hunts, art camps, sports camps, science camps, a “Little Event” in which students create greeting cards, a gardening project and renovation of a nearby historical building are just some of the examples Johnson recalls.

More important than the projects are the people behind them, Johnson says.
“We’ve formed so many good relationships through the program and met so many good people who truly care,” she says. “They still come and still volunteer. They really have gotten the meaning of giving back.”

The faculty members involved in the projects include Risa Bierman, Nancy Simpson, Bharathi Shetty, Carol McBryde, Lesley Tomaszewski, Manda Rosser, Misti Hill Carter, Shontarius Aikens and Martha Loudder.