ACE News Detail: Capital District YMCA Black & Latino Community Partner Award

By Jennifer Hunt, ACE Communications

On Tuesday, June 4, 2013, the Siena College Office of Academic Community Engagement accepted the Capital District YMCA Black & Latino Community Partner Award on behalf of Siena College for its community engagement collaborations with the Capital District YMCA Black and Latino Achievers Program. The award is evidence that community members working together can fulfill a common mission, building a world that is more just, peaceable, and humane. In 1937, Siena was founded on the principles of St. Francis of Assisi, who, despite being born into a wealthy merchant family, devoted himself instead to a life of poverty, working in solidarity with the poor and inspiring others to live a Christ like life. Today, Siena faculty, staff, and students are called to be modern day Franciscans, devoting their energy to the same kind of life that St. Francis lived.

At Siena, departments, offices, and centers seek ways to engage with the community on multiple levels. At ACE, we support Siena’s mission by developing and supporting academically grounded, sustainable, developmental, multifaceted, community partnerships that connect students, faculty, staff and community members with the needs and assets of the Capital Region and beyond through community engagement. These efforts have allowed us to forge quality partnerships with community organizations in Albany, including our connection with the Capital District YMCA. We have collaborated with the Y via our DEEP Service (which stands for Developing Engaging Educational Partnerships) engagement programs, including the AmeriCorps VISTA Fellows, Bonner Service Leaders, and Summer Service Scholars programs. Over the years, Siena College has also hosted the Latino Youth Conference, under the leadership of Tony Rivera, Assistant Director of ACE, four times and will be hosting it for the fifth time this November 2, 2013.

Other Siena College ACE Collaborations with the Capital District YMCA include:

Capital District YMCA: North Albany Branch

  • 2010-2011: Siena AmeriCorps VISTA placed to focus on developing capacity with fundraising efforts for Reach Out For Youth campaign.
  • Summer 2010: ACE Policy Options Intern, Timothy Golden, piloted a garden project to promote healthy eating and urban gardening education.
  • 2013-2014 Academic Year: Bonner will be placed at North Albany YMCA in 2013-2014 academic year to continue building the garden project established by ACE Policy Options Intern.

Capital District YMCA: Troy Branch

  • 2011-2012: Siena AmeriCorps VISTA placed to focus on building partnerships with local community organizations, developing a community advisory board, and researching ways to promote opportunities offered by the YMCA to Troy citizens.
  • Summer 2012 and Summer 2013: Summer Service Scholar placed to supplement marketing and outreach initiatives.

Photo Credit: Capital District YMCA