Green Bay, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Strategic Philanthropy Class announced today (May, 1, 2019) that Casa ALBA Melanie would be the recipient of a $10,000 grant. The funds for this award were granted by The Learning by Giving Foundation, founded by Doris Buffett.
“Leaders of Casa ALBA Melanie are deeply grateful to receive this grant from the Learning by Giving Foundation,” said Sister Melanie Maczka, executive director of Casa ALBA Melanie. “We are impressed with the detailed preparation and critical evaluation of the students. This grant will empower Latino leaders to work hand-in-hand with the Brown County Health Department, the Birth to 3 program, Escuelita and Angeles programs to enable families to access screening, resources and education to enhance their development.”
The UW-Green Bay class, “Strategic Philanthropy: Civic Engagement Through Giving,” is a hands-on approach to help college students develop commitment to, and engagement in, the community. Classmates agree on a cause, and then go through a process of vetting nonprofit organizations that address that cause, making site visits and selecting a recipient. “The students learn how to act on their values to make a positive impact,” said Associate Professor Lora Warner, teacher of the course. The course is the only one of its kind in Wisconsin and is being offered for the seventh time.
The class chose to address the issue of holistic childhood wellness after conducting community research in the Green Bay area. They selected the organizations Wello and Casa ALBA Melanie as finalists. UW-Green Bay students toured the sites of each to learn about each proposed use of the funding. Wello collaborates with local schools and organizations to implement mindfulness into the classroom. The organization is working on expanding the program into Green Bay area elementary schools. Casa ALBA Melanie is a resource for information and referrals for the Hispanic population in the greater Green Bay area. Casa ALBA Melanie proposed two main activities: increase health screening outreach to families in partnership with the Brown County Health Department and expansion of its early childhood program, Escuelita, which serves three- and four-year-olds and their parents.
Student Clare Martell said the class has changed her outlook. “This class has given me more information on how to give wisely and different viewpoints on philanthropy,” she said. “One of the most impactful things that I learned from this class is how to analyze to make sure your personal donation is having the greatest impact.”
In their research, students chose three community issues of concern: depression and anxiety among youth, segregation and race relations in Green Bay, and childhood obesity. In discussions about how to focus their giving, it became clear that the three topics were related to one core issue: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). Children from diverse households have a higher risk of ACES. Having adverse experiences in one’s life contribute to anxiety and depression as well as obesity and other health issues. UW-Green Bay students felt if they could work “upstream,” by funding a program that helps children have healthy development, they might address the root cause of these other problems. After interviewing and visiting, students chose to award the $10,000 grant to Casa ALBA Melanie.
UW-Green Bay student Chase Hyland (Political Science and Public Administration) posts about the tremendous impact of childhood experiences on overall well-being. “Exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) correlate with lasting effects on health, behavior, and life potential,” he writes. See his blog post or go to the class Facebook page.
About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to nearly 8,000 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, D-I athletics, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.
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– Photos by Daniel Moore, Marketing and University Communications