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Public Leadership Students Award Grants to UMD Student Organizations

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Freshman students from the College Park Scholars Public Leadership Program spent the Spring semester learning about, developing and running a grantmaking process. Students in the class were given the opportunity to not only study the art of philanthropy but also provide actual grants to student organizations of their choosing. On May 8, the class hosted a ceremony to award the grants to its chosen organizations.

The Public Leadership program, sponsored in part through the School of Public Policy, explores the theory and practice of leadership, empowering students to become social change agents through hands-on public service projects and examination of pressing social, political, and economic issues.

During the course, students learned about philanthropy and grantmaking, developed and reviewed Requests for Proposals to support student-led organizations focused on the issues of education; health; hunger and poverty; and peace, justice and human rights, and interviewed select group. Then, the students awarded a total of $5,000, provided by the Do Good Institute, in grants to winning student groups. The organizations that received grants include,


  • Kids Excelling in Math and Science(KEMS) provides after-school enrichment via STEM activities for students at Hyattsville Middle School in Prince George's County. The KEMS curriculum covers natural and environmental sciences, with an emphasis on doing hands-on science
  • Saturday Literacy Enrichment Program(SLEP) is a free, yearlong multi-sensory reading intervention program led by 17 current UMD literacy tutors. SLEP seeks to improve the literacy of children through comprehensive exposure to the fundamentals of readings, provide STEM exposure to children, and give them early access to college through the University of Maryland.


  • Youth Art for Healing brings together student artists from the campus community to paint works of art that will be put in healthcare environments to provide a sense of comfort and healing for patients and their loved ones.
  • Nourish: Mommy and Meis a student organization that aims to support pregnant women and their children and provide them with healthy foods to sustain them throughout their pregnancy. Nourish partners with Gabriel Network, a nonprofit organization that helps mothers in crisis pregnancies in Prince George’s County and Howard County

Hunger and Poverty

  • ROOTS Africa is a student-led organization that combats hunger and poverty in Liberia by empowering local farmers to learn and implement sustainable agriculture practices and by fostering communication between American and Liberian students.

Peace, Justice and Human Rights

  • Girl Up UMD engages members of the University of Maryland College Park community to support the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up campaign. The group is dedicated to empowering girls in developing countries.
  • International Justice Mission at UMD aims to combat human trafficking globally, by fundraising and spreading awareness on UMD’s campus. Its partnership with International Justice Mission will allow their group to influence governments and outside organizations that can positively affect human trafficking around the world.

While the students awaited proposals from student organizations, they embarked on a fundraising exercise to raise as much money as they could for an organization that was important to them. The group that raised the most money would be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500. As a class, students raised nearly $10,000 for nonprofit organizations.

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