HES and USP Scholars Applauded for High-Impact Community Service
LAU and USAID showcase and recognize the servant leaders’ work in virtual ceremony.
Together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), LAU celebrated stellar community projects completed by students from the University Scholarship Program (USP) and the Higher Education Scholarship (HES) at a virtual Community Service and Success Stories Symposium.
Funded by the USAID, the two programs have since 2010 covered the undergraduate tuition for 675 academically excelling students from all over Lebanon. Apart from attending soft skills and leadership development workshops, and completing hours of volunteer work, the students are mentored and trained by LAU’s Outreach and Civic Engagement Department (OCE) to plan and execute community service projects.
Examples of such accomplishments were spotlighted during the event. A workshop, “For a Stress-Free Life,” was set up to help young women cope with daily stress in the ‘Aley region over the summer of 2020. Another project, “Coping in the Era of COVID-19,” was tailored for high-school students in Sidon to address mental health issues, as well as time and stress management. On a larger scale, and following the August 4 explosion, OCE launched the Servants of Society initiative to help in the clean-up efforts and provide immediate relief to families affected by the devastating event.
Sharing snippets of their unique journeys so far, Mariam Akil, Houssain Ali Yassine and Jinan Nader each spoke about the transformative opportunity that USAID and LAU had provided them.
Assistant Vice President for OCE Elie Samia explained that the programs’ success is founded on three pillars: academic excellence, servant leadership and job-readiness. “This is directly aligned with LAU’s mission in its commitment to innovative pedagogy, the development of the whole person, and the formation of leaders in a diverse world,” he said.
Toward the end of the event, three distinguished scholars were granted the USP Excellence Award for their efforts to enact positive change within their respective communities while maintaining outstanding academic performance: Tala Al Kayyal won first prize, Mohamad Khodor came second and Fatima Moussawi third.