Santa Clara University

Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative

Overview of NPI

Organization and Activities of NPI

NPI is still evolving and is envisioned to be an umbrella under which a variety of activities and projects will be coordinated.What these individual efforts will have in common is that they will serve as avenues for undergraduate students, as well as faculty and staff, to contribute to prosperity—particularly economic prosperity—in local low income neighborhoods, while providing opportunities to apply knowledge learned in the classroom.

NPI will work with the community on several levels, each of which is necessary to a neighborhood's economic vitality. The projects, programs and activities of NPI will be focused on capacity building to assist businesses, non-profit organizations and individual community members and leaders in contributing most effectively to prosperity in the community.

NPI Principles of Community Engagement: All activities of the LSB Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative will be grounded in the following principles:

  1. NPI will work in reciprocal partnerships with one or more non-profit, educational and/or governmental organizations, with the goal of developing long-term, sustained relationships.NPI will respect and appreciate the role that community members play as co-educators of our students.
  2. Students will receive appropriate training and preparation in how to work in low income communities with sensitivity and cultural awareness, background and theory related to issues they are working with, competence in skills they will be sharing with the community, and opportunities for structured reflection on all aspects of their experience. Wherever possible, we will involve knowledgeable community members in the training of students.
  3. Specific projects will be determined jointly by community partners and LSB to ensure that they meet needs as identified by the community.
  4. NPI will follow through on what we promise, to promote trust and credibility. We will model and emphasize to students the importance of keeping commitments, tacit as well as explicit, made to community partners
  5. Develop metrics to assess student learning and to document contributions to community.Provide feedback mechanisms for accountability to community partners (e. g., a designated staff person atLSB who community partners feel comfortable contacting with any concerns).
  6. Anticipate and take precautionary steps to ensure the safety of all people involved in service activities. Comply with special safety or liability requirements of community partners.
  7. Provide students with opportunities to share new knowledge obtained from their service experience.Volunteer

For more information, contact:

Jackie Schmidt-Posner, Ph.D.
Professor of Practice
Program Manager, Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative
Leavey School of Business
Santa Clara University
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