Connecting with the Community for over 25 Years
In 2010, the Office of Community Outreach celebrated 25 years of service to the Berea and Greater Cleveland communities. The office traces its roots to the "BW Construction Company," a student-initiated group started in 1985. The mission of the Construction Company was to build bridges to the greater community through service. In 1993, the Office of Community Outreach (OCO) was established and a full-time Director was hired under the Division of Student Affairs. Four students were also hired to coordinate special volunteer projects. These projects included the first Alternative Winter Break trip to Hull, IL, and three Alternative Spring Break trips to Hull, IL, New York City, NY, and Union, WV. The student coordinators also initiated Project X, providing five weekly volunteer programs for BW students.
Since that time, the Office of Community Outreach has grown to include over 35 student leadership positions, a Director, Assistant Director and Graduate Student Intern. Programs have expanded to include: a student philanthropy program, mentoring programs, service-learning courses, residential programs, Alternative Break trips and much more. Each year, BW students contribute thousands of hours of service to the Greater Cleveland area through OCO programs!
The Office of Community Outreach at Baldwin Wallace University seeks to uphold the University's mission of empowering students to become contributing, compassionate citizens of an increasingly global society. In presenting transformational learning experiences through community service and service-learning we strive to:
- create an inclusive community of students that is appreciative of diversity
- engage students in collaborative leadership opportunities
- cultivate and sustain reciprocal partnerships with our community
- critically examine issues of social justice at the community level
- support the integration of service into the academic curriculum
- advocate for the value of experiential education through service
- encourage the development of peer relationships and engagement in the Baldwin Wallace community
- foster an ethic of lifelong service.