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Funding from the Making History campaign will ensure that Penn’s community service legacy continues for years to come.

Penn’s community service hubs — Civic House, the Netter Center for Community Partnership and the Fox Leadership Program — will receive money from the $2.2 billion sum allocated for research and programs from the Making History campaign. They are using the additional funds to enrich the community service experience both at Penn and at a national level.

According to Civic House Director David Grossman, the Civic House is using money from the campaign to promote students’ involvement with the Civic House.

Donations from the Making History campaign helped fund the Civic Scholars Program, which began in 2007. In this four-year program, students take specific classes, hold a public interest internship for a summer and conduct a senior capstone research project.

Civic House is also using the funding to support students interested in pursuing community service. The extra money has enabled them to better educate and train students involved in their programs. Financial support from the house allows students with financial need to hold unpaid public interest summer internships.

“We never want a student’s financial situation to be a factor in their ability to be engaged in the local community,” Grossman said.

Civic House also received money to directly support the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project, which tutors students in six West Philadelphia schools.

The Fox Leadership Program is another beneficiary of the campaign. According to Fox Leadership Executive Director Joe Tierney, there isn’t enough information yet to determine how the extra funding will impact the organization.

Barbara and Edward Netter ensured the Netter Center for Community Partnerships’ longevity at Penn when they gave an endowment in 2007, at the beginning of the Making History campaign.

“It ensured our development now and, of course, into the future,” Netter Center Director Ira Harkavy said. “[We] want to have a stronger impact on campus, in the community and across the U.S. in the world.”

The Netters provided their endowment to help the Netter Center export its University-Assisted Community Schools approach to the rest of the country and the world.

They have been using the money to open regional training centers for the UACS approach. There are proposals for new training centers to be created every third year. Regional centers currently exist in the midwest and southwest United States.

The funding also enabled the Netter Center to hire a director of evaluation, Gretchen Suess, to examine the effectiveness of current Netter Center programs.

“Increasing [our] national visibility has been a main goal,” Netter Center Associate Director Joann Weeks said.

The completion of the Making History campaign also coincides with the Netter Center’s year-long 20th anniversary celebration. According to Netter Center staff, the coincidence of the two events helped display the progress and future goals of the Center.

“The 20th fits in because now with the support we have we can look forward,” Harkavy said.

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