Grant program helps students carry out community service projects

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    A grant program developed by Student Development Services (SDS) allows students to put their ideas for service projects in the university and Fort Worth communities into action.

    Daniel Terry, a director with SDS, said “Frogs Give Back” is a grant program for sophomores and juniors that was created in 2008.

    “Frogs Give Back” is headed by Terry and Keri Cyr, an assistant director with SDS.

    “Every year SDS budgets money to help students who have an idea for a service project but need a little seed money to help get it off the ground,” Terry said.

    According to the SDS website, students must go through an application and interview process prior to being selected for the grant. From the applicants, up to four winners will be chosen to receive a portion of the $1,000 in funds available, and assistance with any other resources required for their service project.

     “We do our best to connect students to other people and resources that we know of for maximum effectiveness,” Cyr said.

     Cyr said the grant winners are required to begin their project by January 2013 and complete it by May 2013 so that SDS can plan around when the money will be used and when staff resources will be needed.

     Winners are evaluated during the process of their service project to assess developmental and learning outcomes through meetings with SDS, Cyr said. Students are also required to document the progress of their project through photographs and journal entries.

    A variety of service projects have been carried out by grant winners in the past.

    Terry said previous service projects included a community garden project with an elementary school and a “get to know you” event that took place in the Library Commons.

    Senior nursing major Marisol Sigala completed her service project in the spring of 2012.

    Sigala said she decided to apply for the “Frogs Give Back” grant because G-Force, a student organization that focuses on mentoring and providing information about college to Fort Worth high school students, did not receive sufficient funds from the Activities Funding Board (AFB). The organization required a larger budget to carry out a program for high school students, she said.

     “I decided to look for other ways to support the program and SDS was the solution,” Sigala said.  “We partnered with LEAPS to have volunteers from the TCU community interact with high school students to talk about college.”

     For students like Sigala, a grant from the “Frogs Give Back” program provides a chance to carry out a project for which money is an issue.

     “Students have great ideas but might not have the personal resources to dedicate to the cause.” Cyr said. 

    Sigala said the grant program is important because some organizations on campus do not receive very much funding from the AFB.

    Terry said, “While money isn’t necessarily a deterrent to doing a service project, sometimes it can help a project become a reality.”

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