Loyola Magazine

Putting mission into action

Students are exposed early and often to the culture of service that Loyola hopes to inspire

Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it. —Marian Wright Edelman

Students are exposed early and often to the culture of service that Loyola hopes to inspire in all its community members.

The University has long been involved in addressing the needs and challenges of Baltimore, partnering with its neighbors not only to strengthen the city economically, but also to enhance education, safety, commerce, health services, and collaboration.

During the fall semester, 667 students participated in service, giving 11,441 hours of their time to help others. And that’s just what was reported by the Center for Community, Service, and Justice (CCSJ).

Founded in 1992 as the Center for Values and Service, CCSJ partners with community organizations throughout the city to offer ways for students to participate in education through service. Their experiences allow students to gain the broad perspectives needed to address complex issues such as poverty, homelessness, violence, racism, and education reform in their careers after Loyola.

The call to serve Baltimore speaks to everyone in the Loyola community, including faculty, staff, and administrators.

Robert Helfenbein, Ph.D., associate dean in the School of Education, is one of many faculty who are actively involved in supporting positive change in the city—and who are connecting their scholarship and teaching to work in the city.

“Primarily my hope lies in growing the capacity of the numerous, powerful community-based groups doing good work in this city. My hope is that the city leaders—both political and business—recognize the grassroots power in Baltimore and lead by listening,” he said.

Helfenbein sees service as the avenue to creating more opportunities for Baltimore’s youth, greater support for Baltimore’s teachers, and greater connection between Baltimore City Public Schools and our city’s higher education institutions, including Loyola.

Students have said they consider service a way to experience and learn beyond the classroom, to give of themselves to others who are underserved, and to live out Loyola’s call to be men and women for and with others.

“There is truly no feeling like giving your time and resources to those who need it most, and the people you will meet through these experiences—including fellow Loyola students!—will change your life,” said Katie Downey, ’17, about her service experiences as a student.

Loyola has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for student involvement in service, including for academic programs that involve service-learning. Last year The Princeton Review ranked the University No. 2 on its “Students Most Engaged in Community Service” list.