Sunrise on the Southside (7): Supportive Community

(Latest in a series of posts about Lehigh University and the Southside)

Sunrise on the Southside

Chapter 5: Supportive Community

Gadfly is enjoying this leisurely walk through the Southside and through the eyes of Lehigh’s promotional video about its contributions there, something which, in truth, is not always without controversy.

  • Recognizing too that quality schools are essential for thriving neighborhoods, Lehigh has actively engaged with BASD Superintendent Joseph Roy ’09 Ph.D. to improve the quality and outcomes of the schools near campus.
  • Lehigh’s Center for Developing Urban Educational Leaders, and now the Community Service Office, partners with BASD and the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley in creating university-assisted community schools at Broughal, Donegan and Fountain Hill schools. In addition to academic support, the designation allows each school to extend their reach into the community, with students as well as their families receiving health services and social support. The Community Voices Clinic, a mental health clinic in the family centers at Broughal and Donegan schools, was formed in 2012 in partnership with BASD, St. Luke’s Health Network and Lehigh’s counseling psychology program.

Gadfly luvs this point especially:

  • Carolina Hernandez, assistant dean and director of the Community Service Office at Lehigh, says Lehigh students are often profoundly influenced by their work in the community. She says tutors, for instance, “quite frequently” change their career trajectories and go on to become educators. . . . For us, it’s about exposing students and helping students learn who they are and learn about the role that they have in the greater community.”

And words we luv to hear:

  • “South Side is our community,” Hernandez says, “and we have a duty and a responsibility to the community that we are a part of.”

Festival UnBound
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October 4-13

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