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February  02, 2010

Grant helps students serve community

Augustana students and Quad-City non-profit organizations are the benefactors of a $25,000 Riverboat Development Authority (RDA) grant. The money will fund the RDA Reflective Leader Internship Program at Augustana, which provides students with the opportunity to work as interns for non-profit organizations in Scott County.

"We need to actively involve young people in our community," says Dr. Ellen Hay, professor of communication studies and advisor to the program. "Our best and brightest need to understand and respond to the needs of others. The internships not only provide students with hands-on work experience and stronger ties to their community, but also provide assistance to area organizations during uncertain economic times."

The grant will be awarded to 10 third-year students at Augustana. Initially, the grant will be offered to students majoring in communication studies or psychology because these majors include a community-service component in their Senior Inquiry, a capstone project that allows students to showcase their abilities and knowledge.

Students selected for the RDA program will complete specific tasks throughout the internship to maximize their experience. These tasks include assessing the needs of the organization and their responsibility as citizens, reflecting on their experiences through journal assignments, and making presentations after completing the internship to show how it influenced their career choice.

"Augustana is very pleased to be among the many fine institutions the Riverboat Development Authority has chosen to support," says Lynn Jackson, vice president of advancement. "We look forward to partnering with Iowa non-profit organizations in an effort to improve our community. This program provides an excellent opportunity for students to apply the lessons they learned in the classroom and share their energy and expertise with organizations in need of assistance."

RDA, a non-profit organization founded in Davenport, Iowa, in 1989, is comprised of 12 volunteers from throughout Scott County. Rhythm City Casino, the organization's single income source, allows the group to distribute grants to various non-profit groups, educational institutions and government divisions in Scott County.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833