Changemakers Community Partnership Liaisons Grants

Changemakers helps to support staff and evaluate new community-based partnership development projects in collaboration with and with leadership from Pitzer faculty.  CPL stipends are available for Pitzer faculty and staff members who develop partnerships (CPLs) with local community-based organizations.  Partnerships facilitate collaboration between the local community, faculty and/or staff and Pitzer students, whenever possible encouraging first-year student participation. Awardees are expected to establish and maintain a new partnership over a minimum of 2 years.  This must include a comprehensive assessment of the assets, needs, the goals of the organization and full participation and long-term vision in the strategic plan to build the relevant capacities of the partner agency and mechanisms for regularly assessing progress on partnership goals.

Funded Partnerships:

Fall 2009

Professor Kathleen Yep submitted for a CPL to develop partnership with LAMP, Literacy for All in Monterey Park. Through her classes, Non-Violent Social Change and Teaching as Social Change, Professor Yep trains, places and guides her students through internships designed to support the needs and assets of LAMP and Pitzer students. Since 1984, Literacy for All of Monterey Park (LAMP) has been a leader in adult and family literacy programs.  They work to improve human lives by providing high-quality, learner-centered literacy services to the San Gabriel Valley at no cost. Trained volunteers in one-to-one, small group, and classroom settings provide tutoring and instruction. Through Yep’s courses, this partnership will provide LAMP with consistent set of tutors who are also studying relevant issues in coursework and reflecting on their community-immersed experience.

Changemakers funded a proposal for ongoing programmatic funds for Tutors for a Cause. Tutors for a Cause is a student run tutoring and mentoring program whose objective is to serve underprivileged children of our community. The group was started in 2007 in response to requests from our dining hall staff to help their children with schoolwork, which the parents were unable to help with. There was such a large need for this that founder Nancy Murillo realized she could not do it on her own and envisioned a program in which Pitzer students would participate with their individual abilities. Since then the group has continued to provide this service and has grown in its capacities and activities.

Tutors for a Cause is a bridge between Pitzer College and the local community through which both sides benefit. The children who have been participating in our program have, according to their teachers and parents, improved in their schoolwork. They also benefit by getting to know college students, getting to see what college is like, and realizing that they to can go to college. Likewise, Pitzer students benefit from their participation in multiple ways as well. Many of the Pitzer students participating in our program intend to be educators and through their participation in Tutors for a Cause they are gaining valuable experience in this field. Another advantage is that, by working with children of our dining hall staff, Pitzer students are able to create a personal and meaningful relationship with members of our dining hall staff who work hard for us everyday, yet for the most part remain nameless faces to the students who they serve.

Spring 2009

Student Meredith Abrams submitted a proposal to develop a budding partnership with Garey High School through a student-designed and students-driven program called Girltalk. Girltalk was created in 2007 by Pitzer students Meredith Abrams and Milan Cook as an after-school educational and peer support group for at-risk teen women struggling with abuse, addiction and other risk behaviors. The Changemakers committee approved funding to bolster the longevity of the partnership with Garey High School in the nearby city of Pomona. Through this relationship with Garey High School, CEC was able to secure a contract and partnership with the broader Pomona Unified School District to allow other student projects in tutoring, college counseling and mentoring programs in the PUSD schools. Programming and partnership between Pitzer, CEC and the Pomona Unified School district continues to be developed. Although the Girltalk program went on a semester-long hiatus due to some bureaucratic hold-ups, it is now up and running again on a small scale.

Fall 2008

Professor Erich Steinman and former student Scott Scoggins develop partnership with the local Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe. This tribe is part of the Ohlone Nation and is a non-profit organization devoted to fighting for the rights (and federal recognition) of this American Indian Tribe. Students are involved in research and activism around legal rights, health care access, cultural or historical research projects and have helped to create and recruit resources for the Ohlone Wellness Center and a college pipeline program for Ohlone youth. Students may also get involved in community outreach and advocacy through college mentorship as well as policy and lobbying work. In the Fall 2008 semester, the course placed its twelve, enrolled first-year students at this site, and the faculty for this course will also help to facilitate projects and internships with other interested students. Students, staff and faculty continue to be involved in the community with the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribal office.

Professor Rick Tsujimoto proposed a CPL with Study Buddies, a community-based after-school tutoring program for at-risk and transient youth in Ontario, Montclair, Pomona, Claremont and other neighboring municipalities. This program provides extensive training for tutors and a comprehensive testing system to evaluate the needs and academic levels of tutees. Changemakers has agreed to fund the development of this partnership and the facilitation of student interns/tutors, an additional evaluation process for the new site, and a summer intern to maintain the relationship with the site and analyze the evaluation material for the betterment of the program over its proposed two-year span.

Professors Gina Lamb and Alex Juhasz were awarded CPL funding to develop a partnership with the local community-based organization, UnCommon Good. This small non-profit organization provides legal and health services to underprivileged populations and tutoring and mentoring to at-risk youth. Their newest program is Teen Green, an environmental leadership program composed of high school students committed to community projects and awareness-raising around environmental issues; Teen Green has over 25 active members and over 200 youth participating through college mentoring programs. Through this group, Uncommon Good is spearheading a new project called the Khalili Community Center, wherein they have planned to build a LEED-certified, environmentally sustainable community center in Claremont. After a year of programming, this CPL has been discontinued.