The annual AYA Leadership Awards for Volunteer Innovation and Service are made for outstanding individual service. Unlike the AYA Board of Governors Excellence Awards, presented to alumni groups, these awards are made to individuals nominated and then voted on by the AYA staff, the professionals who have seen the passion of their nominees firsthand. This provides the AYA’s front-line workers with a way of recognizing each year the extraordinary accomplishments of at least a few of the many “Ambassadors for Yale” — the outstanding volunteers who have demonstrated a willingness to give back, a penchant for innovation, and a high level of selfless service on Yale’s behalf.
The following individuals are being presented with these awards for the 2015–2016 year.
John Caserta ’01
LTC Charles Faint ’13 MA
Amy Liebeskind ’98 MD
Miko McGinty ’93 JE, ’98 MFA
Matt Meade ’87
John Caserta ’01
John Caserta ’01 is something of a polymath when it comes to alumni service and engagement. He is an active "quadruple threat" as a Yale Club of New Haven director, as a presenter of financial literacy seminars to alumni and students, as an organizer of “tasting” events, and—if that were not enough—as an orchestral musician!
Having served on the YCNH board since 2007 and as Secretary from 2009 – 2012, John used his young alumni status to organize several sell-out spirit tasting events that included presentations by industry representatives. A certified financial planner by profession, John has presented 50 Financial Life After Yale sessions attended by more than 1,000 Yalies—students and alumni—on campus and in 6 cities, often paying his own travel expenses. In doing so, John has served previously-untapped (or hard-to-reach) cohorts. For example, John now regularly provides these sessions to students at the Med School, the Law School, F&ES, and Nursing. To expand on an already extraordinary alumni career, John has also shared his musical skills as a trumpet player. He still maintains his “lip” and when the call came to build an all-alumni orchestra for Yale Musical Theater of the Air productions John not only raised his hand and participated, he reached out to others alumni players to do so as well. A modest and self-effacing alumnus, John would be loath to blow his own horn, so the AYA staff is more than happy to do so for him!
LTC Charles Faint ’13 MA
A currently-serving US Army officer with over 20 years of distinguished military service, Lieutenant Colonel Charles D. Faint ’13 MA has been engaged with the Yale Veterans Association since its early days as a shared interest group, actively working with other alumni veterans to shape its direction and trajectory as an alumni organization dedicated to supporting and uplifting veterans, fostering a more welcoming environment on campus for ROTC and the Yale veteran community (including alumni, faculty, staff and students), and reaffirming Yale’s strong traditions of service, sacrifice and leadership to the nation. LTC Faint was the inspiration behind the Yale Veterans Summit (2015), the first Ivy League-organized national veterans conference, for purposes addressing the most pressing issues and challenges facing veterans and the US Military. LTC Faint was the primary driver and organizer of the West Point Veterans Invitational (2016), which made it possible for Yale and the US Military Academy to jointly collaborate and further the national discourse concerning veterans and national security issues, while also strengthening the bonds between both institutions, and expanding a growing coalition of like-minded partners committed to serving veterans. LTC Faint continues to engage as an alumni leader in service to Yale and its highest traditions.
Amy Liebeskind ’98 MD
Amy Liebeskind MD ’98, first joined the Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine in 2014, expressing interest in participating after the AYAM created working committees to better support our student and alumni programming. She was elected to the executive committee in 2015, and over the course of that year, in consultation with Merle Waxman, Director, Office for Women in Medicine, Amy developed the idea for the Yale School of Medicine’s Alumni-Student Mentorship Program, an opportunity for alumnae of the school to share their knowledge and experience with current female students, virtually and in-person.
After two rounds of invitations, Amy has matched 201 participants: 109 mentors and 92 mentees. She personally hand-matches the respondents, taking into account geographic location, medical specialties, healthcare setting, and interest in research. Amy timed this fall’s invites to go out as soon as we were able to connect with the entering class of students, and provide them an alumna match just as they were arriving on campus.
Amy has been the driving force for this program to get off the ground, and collaboration with departments on campus. Her leadership in this area has also be recognized by her peers on the alumni association board, where she now has a leadership role as co-chair of the AYAM Student Engagement Committee. She is eager to continue to support our female students, and reconnect our alumnae with their alma mater.
Miko McGinty ’93, ’98 MFA
Miko McGinty ’93 (JE), ’98 MFA has contributed her design expertise and thoughtful volunteer insights to significantly advance several AYA projects in the marketing/communications realm.
Most notably, as the AYA recently developed a design framework to provide more guidance to alumni organizations regarding logos and visual identities, Miko was integral to planning and implementing the pilot phase. She suggested using Yale School of Art graphic design students for the design projects, identified and recruited able students through her ongoing engagement with the graphic design program, and has supervised their work and mentored them on her own time. She helped create a request process and form to make it easy for alumni leaders to navigate the guidelines and information gathering. The results include custom logos for Careers, Life, and Yale; Yale Chicago; and other groups; plus standardized logo structure for groups to use the toolkit effectively.
Miko’s quiet leadership, diligent follow-through and ability to connect ideas and people make her a valuable contributor to several other recent and upcoming projects: the 2014 JE Reunion, the AYA Board of Governors Marketing and Communications committee, and the 2019 campus celebration of coeducation, to name a few.
Matt Meade ’87
Matt Meade ’87 has already proven himself to be a strong leader in his work with the Yale Swimming and Diving Alumni Association and as a third year member of the AYA Board of Governors. But for the most recent Yale Day of Service in May, he went above and beyond what we would expect for any volunteer as he planned a Yale Day of Service project with great impact, Swim New Haven. Matt worked with current students on the women’s and men’s swimming teams, as well as 11 alumni of those teams, to organize a day of service event for New Haven school children at the Payne Whitney gym practice pool. Given that the drowning rate for children of color is nearly three times that of white children, water safety is a critical skill not often accessible to inner city students. While the implementation of this program was fraught with barriers from the get-go, Matt was committed to the project and being sure it took place. From date conflicts, to transportation challenges, to the discovery that all of the volunteers would need to have background checks, Matt responded to each roadblock with creativity and persistence. He reached out and created new partnerships with schools and organizations in New Haven to recruit school children to participate, found a way to get a bus, and covered the costs of nearly 25 background checks. While others might have been deterred by the first or second complication, the barriers just made Matt more determined to find a way to make it work. His vision and commitment were an excellent example to the other alumni, but perhaps more importantly, to the current Yale students with whom he worked. In the end, 50 New Haven school children are now safer around the water and several of the organizations are asking for this to
ASC Service Awards
In each city or region, the Alumni Schools Committee (ASC) is the team of alumni volunteers who interview high school students applying to Yale College. ASCs are also tasked with maintaining good relations between Yale and local high schools. The ASC program is overseen by Yale Undergraduate Admissions, and the ASC Service Awards (see p. 26) recognize committees that have provided exemplary support of Yale’s goal to reach out to the best and brightest students of the next generation.
Alumni Schools Committee Excellence Award
For the Alumni Schools Committee that exhibits overall excellence, including a strong commitment to an ambassadorial mission, superior volunteer participation and reporting to the admissions committee, and creativity in programming
Las Vegas, NV – led by ASC Director Cynthia Mun ’90
Alumni Schools Committee Ambassador Award
For the Alumni Schools Committee leader who exemplifies the ambassadorial mission of the program, inspires superior participation by engaging both new and experienced volunteers, and facilitates creativity in programming and communications
Charles J. Ascher ’58 – ASC Director for Princeton, NJ
Dominique Alan Fenton ’10 – ASC Director for The Dakotas
The annual AYA Board of Governors Excellence Awards recognize the superior accomplishments of Yale’s classes, regional clubs and associations, shared-identity and interest groups, and graduate and professional school alumni associations. These awards honor programs, events and best practices in alumni relations that have achieved excellence in their results and commensurate benefits for, and on behalf of, the university. The successes reflected in these prizes raise standards and contribute to the growing impact of alumni activities throughout the entire Yale family worldwide.
The following groups are being presented with these awards for the 2015–2016 year.
For the class that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social, and community service programming
Yale College Class of 1948
The Class of 1948 has demonstrated its commitment, engagement and loyalty to Yale and each other by planning and executing a series of mini-reunions in different locations after their 65th reunion. These reunions took place in multiple cities including Boston New York, Vero Beach, and Washington, D.C. They set an example for all classes—in particular all senior classes—of what can be done in more targeted geographic areas to continue connections with Yale and between classmates. Classmates in their late 80’s and early 90’s making efforts to attend reunion events are an inspiration to all.
Highest Percentage of Returning Alumni Reunion
For highest percentage of returning alumni measured against total living alumni of the class and against previous reunions of the same anniversary
Yale College Class of 1996 - 20th Reunion
Yale College Class of 2011 - 5th Reunion
Outstanding Class Event in a Non-Reunion Year
For the class event in a non-reunion year, including “mini-reunions,” that exhibits overall excellence in planning, participation, marketing, educational experience, and implementation
Yale College Classes of 1971, 1972, and 1973
Annual mini-reunions by our classes from the 40s, 50s and 60s and 40th, 50th, and 60th birthday bashes by our classes from the late 70s, 80s and 90s are models that are starting to take hold in alumni land. We needed the rebellious classes from the early 70s to bring a new model to our mix. For their adjoining classes the class leaders, Andy Kaufman ’71, Rob Bildner ’72, and Andrea DaRiff ‘73 brought together 200 alums for an innovative, on-campus, three day cluster reunion program. Classmates renewed connections outside of the traditional 5 year cycles and when students, faculty, and administrators were on campus. The programming culminated with a dinner/dance in Commons on Saturday night where attendants and their guests shared memories of Mayday, Vietnam War protests, and co-education struggles. We expect some new memories and connections were created as well. The class leaders put together a model which they have shared with AYA as a model for future cluster reunions. We commend their innovation and look forward to their being flattered with imitation.
Outstanding Major Cities
For the alumni association among the seven major cities that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social and community-service programming
Preparations for YaleBoston’s sesquicentennial year celebrations led to a galvanizing of alumni across classes, geographies, and demographics in the greater Boston area. Club members researched and uncovered unknown and forgotten artifacts and anecdotes from its 150-year history. This led to a first-ever published history of the club, the creation of a historic anniversary seal, and customized jewelry and water bottles bearing the seal. An anniversary dinner was held at the exact date, time, and location of the original alumni meeting. In addition, the club reviewed and revamped its infrastructure, revising its bylaws, launching a new website, and completing the work to become a 501(c) (3), thus laying the groundwork for another strong 150 years.
Outstanding Midsize Cities
For the alumni association among the regions ranking 8 to 20 in population that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social and community- service programming
Yale Alumni Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington
In its first time in history, the Yale AA of Oregon and SW Washington hosted a national healthcare conference entitled: "Healthcare Beyond Obamacare: Bridging Policy to Practice" in September 2015. Cosponsored by the AYA Redpath Fund and the Portland InterHospital Physicians Association, the event brought world-renowned health policy experts, including the dean of the Yale School of Public Health, other Yale faculty and alumni speakers to Portland. The event drew over 150 attendees from around the country, a record in the club’s history. The audience embraced the intellectual content and engaging discussion at the conference, which also offered Continuing Medical Education credits. The event prominently featured Yale, Yale alumni and reflected a deep collaboration between the club and its community. Over the last two years, the club has revamped its leadership structure, built stronger ties amongst alumni and better served its community through social, intellectual and volunteer projects and events.
Outstanding Small Cities
For the alumni association outside the major and mid-sized markets that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social and community-service programming
Yale Alumni Association of Cleveland
Continuously one of the most active clubs, the Yale AA of Cleveland continues to develop new programming to engage and enrich their alumni base. Hosting over 30 events during the last year, the club reached across a broad spectrum of interests including the arts, community service, and athletics. The success and diversity of their programming is highlighted by two different events, one old and one new. Their 77th Yale Ball, a tradition that began in 1934 drew over 250 alumni and guests for an evening of entertainment and giving back. Adopting the ball to encourage and connect with a wider and younger range of guests, the Yale Club succeeded in drawing many first time attendees and also raised over $15,000 to support their alumni scholarship fund and summer internship program. The second program, an industry panel tied to the Cleveland International Film Festival expanded the partnerships of the club to other alumni organizations such as Yale in Hollywood as well as local cultural institutions. This event helped highlight the ties between Yale and the community in addition to engaging with a Cleveland alumni base in a new and diverse manner.
Outstanding G&P School
For the graduate/professional school alumni association that best demonstrates leadership in strategic planning, volunteer recruitment, financial management and stewardship
Yale School of Nursing
The School of Nursing Alumni Association is recognized for its success in engaging alumni and students in innovative programming, and in particular, its first organized Yale Day of Service this year. Yale nurses live and work all over the globe, and the goal of this event was to bring everyone together in support of a local community service need in the place where all Yale nurses trained. Collaborating with the Yale Child Study Center, this Day of Service event, entitled Newborns in Need, involved bringing together 60 alumni, students, family members, faculty, and other Yale alumni to fill bags of newborn goods for mothers who deliver at the Hospital of St. Raphael’s with Yale’s nurse-midwives. A personally signed note of congratulations and support to mothers was included with the donation bags. 125 bags were delivered to the Hospital. Donors from afar were able to mail donations, which allowed alumni from around the world to participate in a Day of Service activity. The School of Nursing Alumni Association is exemplary in its thoughtfulness in programming focused on community service in New Haven all while engaging alumni and students in a fun, casual, and collegial manner.
Outstanding G&P School Volunteer Engagement and Leadership
For the G&P alumni association that best demonstrates leadership in strategic planning, volunteer recruitment, financial management, and stewardship
Graduate School Alumni Association
The GSAA's comprehensive strategy to upgrade and streamline their communications and outreach capabilities engaged volunteers via designing a GSAA logo and handbill cards, redesigning a webpage with the use of Yale supplied resources (iModules), establishing a central email address (email@example.com), creating "official" social media networking groups for alumni to join, and expanding the GSAA ambassador force at AYA and Yale events by formally inviting all past GSAA Board members to participate as representatives. The GSAA's formula for longterm engagement of post-term Board members and providing Graduate School alumni the opportunity to connect with current students and fellow alumni from all schools through various channels serves as an excellent model for volunteer engagement.
Outstanding G&P School Event
For the graduate/professional school alumni event that exhibits overall excellence in participation, marketing, education experience, and implementation
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Under the leadership of the School of F&ES, in collaboration with the Yale School of Management (SOM), the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) and Yale Blue Green (YBG), the Yale Environmental Sustainability Summit (YESS) was developed and held last fall. The summit's theme "From Innovation to Practice: Scaling Solutions for the World's Food, Energy and Water Systems" tackled critical questions at the nexus of these sustainability concerns. YESS brought together a multi-disciplinary network of Yale leaders in sustainability, enabling collaboration and impact of ideas. More than 400 attendees representing five decades at Yale, included alumni, faculty and students as well as outside experts and scholars attended the summit. A first-of-its kind event, the summit was organized entirely by Yale Alumni who raised over $120,000 from more than 25 sponsors to support the effort. YESS featured many distinguished speaks including a fireside chat with Tom Steyer '79 B.A., President of NextGen Climate and Yale President Peter Salovey. In addition to the broad participation at the summit, there were over 1300 live stream viewings of the sessions and over 600 Twitter newsfeeds. YESS enabled The School of FS&E to strengthen its connections with other parts of the University by building community, sharing expertise and brainstorming to better the planet.
For the Shared Interest Group (SIG) alumni association that exhibits overall excellence in programming, including a successful mix of educational, cultural, athletic, social and community-service programming
The Yale Black Alumni Association – Chicago Chapter
The Yale Black Alumni Association – Chicago Chapter has been around since before YBAA officially launched in 2010 and has provided wonderful, inclusive programming since inception. The YBAA Chicago hosted and collaborated with other Alumni Associations on several events, including: a ﬁeld day and barbecue with the local chapters of the Black alumni associations of Princeton, Harvard, and Stanford with over 100 Alumni, and the annual Black Alumni Holiday gathering, with alumni from our Ivy + peers. YBAA Chicago is consistently looking for all of the ways to partner with the University on their larger goals and events by co-hosting an event with Yale Alumni Art League (YAAL) and the Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG) in Chicago over the last year. YBAA Chicago continues to serve their community by partnering with such organizations as After School Matters, where they provide resume and interviewing workshops to local youth.
Outstanding SIG Volunteer Engagement and Leadership
For the Shared Interest Group (SIG) that best demonstrates leadership in strategic planning, volunteer recruitment, financial management and stewardship
Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance (YANA)
YANA has established innovative ways for alumni to develop lifelong engagements with social impact, as well as connecting Yalies at undergraduate level to pro bono consulting projects through its Fellowship Program. YANA has implemented its expansion plans effectively and creatively, with an active membership that now exceeds 1200, as it builds a leadership pipeline with members ranging from Class of 1956 to Class of 2020. The establishment of new chapters has allowed YANA to tap into the unique energy and interests of a given region; as chapter chairs, YANA recruits entrepreneurial alums with the ability to develop programs tailored to the alumni needs of that region. Its Metrics Committee is obsessive in measuring the outcomes and impact of YANA’s activities, and it is financially self-sufficient, following a business model that prices events at break-even or better. YANA works collaboratively to leverage the collective impact of the AYA, sharing toolkits and best practices generously, as it strives for excellence in unifying the Yale nonprofit community.
YaleWomen’s strategic plan promotes the creation of an inclusive and supportive community, and strengthens alums’ voices in local, regional, and national discourses. Successful implementation of the plan has produced an increasing number of diverse educational, cultural, social and community-service events hosted by a growing number of chapters – in which an increasing number of Yale women alums across Yale College and the Graduate & Professional Schools, across class years, and across personal and professional interests have become engaged. YaleWomen has developed a robust infrastructure to support the integrity and sustainability of its mission and vision, from the strategic plan, bylaws, policies, guidelines and organizational structure, to tools and resources, to mechanisms for transmitting culture and sharing best practices. Its operating principles include being market- smart and mission-centered; working at the intersection of different industry and functional areas to ensure rich cross-fertilization; and collaborating and partnering with Yale-affiliates and others to build capacity. The 22 chapters around the world are thriving due to YaleWomen's outcomes-driven culture, powerful communications strategy and commitment to investing in leadership development.
Outstanding SIG Reunion or Event
For the Shared Interest Group (SIG) event that exhibits overall excellence in participation, marketing, educational experience and implementation
Yale Veterans Association
The West Point Veterans Invitational (WPVI) is the first veterans/military conference in the country to be jointly organized by an alumni organization (Yale Veterans Association), an Ivy League university (Yale) and a US military institution (US Military Academy at West Point). Building on the momentum and success of the Yale Veterans Summit in 2015, the WPVI provided a diverse and inclusive forum through which participants could engage in a national discourse on the most pressing issues and challenges facing veterans and the US Military today, the way forward in US civil-military relations, and a range of topics of vital importance to national security. In addition to providing a setting where many voices and perspectives on matters affecting the entire nation could be heard and shared, the WPVI strengthened the institutional bonds of friendship and trust between Yale and West Point, and helped to expand a growing coalition of individual and institutional partners dedicated to serving our nation’s veterans. The WPVI serves as a reaffirming illustrative example of Yale’s influence as a thought leader, its commitment to service and civic improvement, and its ability to inspire the minds that inspire the world.
For the program or event that best exemplifies an integrated effort among two or more alumni association groups, or between an alumni group and an outside organization
Yale Swimming and Diving Association
On Saturday, April 23, 2016, 40 current and alumni Yale swimmers and divers collaborated in a truly special day of service event that provided 33 New Haven area students from first through eighth grade with an opportunity to learn basic water safety and swimming techniques. The YSDA partnered with St. Martin DePorres which is a faith-based, Nativity Miguel middle school that provides tuition-free, extended day education for underserved girls and boys from low-income families in the New Haven area and the Boys & Girls Club of New Haven to offer a swim clinic. All of the Yale participants shared their knowledge of swimming technique and safety in a way that thoroughly engaged the children and created a wonderful atmosphere for learning and fun. In order for this program to succeed it required careful and constant collaboration between alums, current students, Yale administration and the community. The YSDA and Yale on a broader scale strive to be champions of inclusion and diversity. That is exactly what this event was all about. Current Yale swimmers and alumni sharing their comfort with the water with a diverse group of New Haven area children. The clinic stirred interest in local children who had not, for whatever reason, been able to participate in formal swim lessons or could not swim. For many of the participants it was the first time they had met with or interacted with a Yale student, let alone a collegiate swimmer. The laughter and excitement of the participants was unbelievable!!
For a new event or program, preferably one that has completed its second year of implementation
Feb Club Emeritus
Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Feb Club Emeritus is a series of informal get-togethers for Yalies all over the world. Feb Club has three rules – no speeches, no fundraising, just party. That simple credo has spawned over 1,000 parties since 2008, welcoming more than 40,000 guests worldwide. From New York to Los Angeles, Anchorage to Zanzibar, London to Quito...Yalies all over the world have tapped into the energy and fun of Feb Club events. With events held on every continent, Feb Club has helped Yale Clubs both large and small stay connected with Yale and generate interest in other alumni events. Feb Club Emeritus can host large dance parties, informal dinners, picnics on a beach, or just an evening at the local tavern...but they all have one thing in common as they welcome Yale alumni, their friends and family for an unforgettable event. Feb Club Emeritus is uniquely a Yale phenomenon that continues the timeless Yale tradition of having fun.
Outstanding Student Engagement
For the alumni association program or event that best integrates and engages current Yale students
Yale Tennis Association
The Yale Tennis Association’s impressive on campus mentoring program focused on both integrating alumni to network with each other as well as engaging with the current team. 25 players (the full men’s & women’s varsity teams) as well as over 25 unique tennis alumni, friends of Yale tennis, the men’s and women’s head and assistant coaches and one current player’s parent, participated in the event. The YTA event began with a dinner panel discussion highlighting 4 different decades, 2 representatives from each team and 4 different industries. The next morning the YTA held a boot camp which included a resume review session followed by two mock interviews. After these two sessions, students had a working resume and had been introduced to a minimum of 4 professionals who could be helpful in networking for a job or career counsel. The YTA then prepared resume book for any players that were interested in getting help finding a summer or permanent job or just career counsel. All were placed by the end of the year with several getting jobs via alternate avenues but a majority getting placements through the help of alumni and “friends of Yale tennis”. Finally, each person who requested, was put in touch with a minimum of three alumni tennis players in a field that would be helpful to their careers. The commitment from the alum was to help find a placement or connect the player with 3 other contacts (not Yale tennis alum) to help further the players’ network.
Best Marketing, Branding and Communications Effort
For the effort that best exemplifies a successful communications effort based on design, creativity, implementation and response
Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE)
The award goes to YaleGALE for “The YaleGALE Guide to Alumni Relations and Volunteer Engagement” a print-on-demand book, available on Amazon.com. It is the first volunteer-created full-length book produced for the general public by an AYA initiative or Yale alumni organization. The YaleGALE Guide continues the mission of YaleGALE to bring Yale’s leadership in alumni engagement to universities across the world. By producing this Guide, YaleGALE has further expanded its outreach, creating a reference that will last long beyond a YaleGALE visit, and that can reach many people outside of a YaleGALE session. The impact of this effort is best conveyed in the words of those using it:
Ravi Sinha, Dean of IIT Bombay wrote, “The YaleGALE Guide is a must-have for universities serious in fostering alumni relations. Yale is widely considered as the Gold Standard for development and engaging with alumni.”
Greg Prince, Jr. ’61, ’73 Ph.D., Board member of the European Humanities University and former President of Hampshire College wrote, “The YaleGALE Guide offers a rich resource of ideas and suggestions, useful across cultures and continents for all kinds of academic institutions.”
With this innovative product, YaleGALE has set a high standard for communicating the alumni story at Yale.
For the alumni association that best identifies, recruits, engages and sustains new volunteer leaders
Yale Club of St. Louis
For a period of time, the Yale Club of St. Louis struggled with a reputation being insular and not welcoming for a diverse alumni base. Recognizing the need to change the perception and engagement of the club, the board actively reached out to achieve broader and more diverse leadership. This diversity focus included age, gender, and sexual orientation with the goal of addressing the needs of all alumni within the St. Louis community. By seeking leaders from graduate schools as well as younger classes, the club successfully invigorated its membership and has been able to move forward with engaging their alumni and their community in a more lively and authentic fashion.
Outstanding Large Day of Service
For the alumni association that demonstrates the most successful Day of Service engagement with 25 or more people in attendance
Yale Club of Beijing
The Yale Club of Beijing collaborated with A Bridge for Children International to renovate Xinyuan Elementary School, which specifically serves the children of migrant workers who are often financially unable to provide quality education for their children. On the Yale Day of Service, over 50 volunteers came together to help the students and their families practice communicating in English while refurbishing the school’s run-down classrooms. Volunteers also brought and donated second-hand English and Chinese books to the school. Philanthropy is a growing and developing field in China. This Day of Service event allowed volunteers to model how concerned strangers may join together and participate in small acts of service to help overcome challenges facing children in the community. The project met a real world need effectively and efficiently and was fun for all who participated. The Club hopes that volunteers will remain engaged with the school and join the literacy program which provides opportunity to read to students to support development of language skills.
Yale Club of Dallas
On the Yale Day of Service, the Yale Club of Dallas created a “whole family” opportunity for children and their parents to serve. Partnering with Vogel Alcove, a community organization which provides free, quality child development services for Dallas’ youngest victims of poverty and homelessness, over 70 Yale Day of service volunteers donated food and prepared more than 750 "Bye-bye Bags” for the children. Each bag contains a protein, snack, fruit, and water to help insure that every child who leaves Vogel Alcove each day has something to eat. Preparation of these bags was a collaborative effort. While the adults organized the food for bag assembly, the kids decorated each bag with positive messages for the eventual recipients. The event allowed parents to volunteer in a meaningful way and to teach their kids about giving back to their community. The Club hopes that the project educated and built conﬁdence in the next generation of Yale volunteers.
Outstanding Small Day of Service
For the alumni association that demonstrates the most successful Day of Service engagement with fewer than 25 people in attendance
Yale Club of Louisiana
This year, the Outstanding Small Day of Service Award goes to the Yale Club of New Orleans. New Orleans has tried for many years to hold a Day of Service event and things have moved slowly with the city still feeling the impact of Hurricane Katrina over a decade ago. The group served with Common Ground Relief, which does wetlands restoration in the area. With more and more alumni moving to the area, especially young alumni, the timing was great for a Day of Service event. Alumni in the area want to be connected and do good for the surrounding community. This was the first of what we hope are many events to come and we are excited to see what they do next, but we salute New Orleans for staying the course and remaining committed and connected, because when we do, this is what we can do.