The Saints’ Center for Service awards two $5,000 community engagement grants each year. Dr. Margaret Tseng won this year’s grant on behalf of the Blue Ribbon Project, a non-profit organization that serves foster children in the state of Maryland. In 2017, there were over 380,000 children in the foster care system in the United States. Of those 380,000 children, over 20,000 aged out of the foster care system. These children are the most vulnerable to unemployment and homelessness. Through the collaboration between Marymount and the Blue Ribbon Project, Dr. Tseng’s POL 250 Research and Writing class got the opportunity to see first hand how non-profits and community groups address the needs of foster children.
On October 14th, Dr. Tseng’s class spent the afternoon at the Blue Ribbon Project’s headquarters learning about the different challenges foster children face in the DC Metro area. They also spent the day packing 25 backpacks of love. Backpacks of love are filled with 24-48 hours’ worth of essentials and are given to the children as they are placed into foster care.
There are several additional programs and events scheduled for the year as part of the grant. The Saints’ Center for Service civic engagement grant has opened opportunities for Marymount students to reach the underserved and to address a critical need of our time.