In November, the Engineering Leadership Council organized a partnership between the College of Engineering and the Adopt-a-Family Christmas Initiative (AFCI) to benefit impoverished families in the South Bend area during holiday season. There are many families in our community that cannot afford to celebrate Christmas, so we raised funds to donate Christmas presents to them.
The College’s contributions raised a total of $1,020, surpassing its set goal of $1,000. The donation from the College alone allowed the AFCI to buy plentiful presents for almost two whole families. This was part of a greater effort that funded several more families. Thanks to the generous donations from the College's students, faculty and staff, these South Bend households were able to fully celebrate the holiday season without being hindered by finances.
Along with its financial support, ELC also donated its time, working with AFCI to buy, wrap and deliver one family's Christmas presents. We even received a thank you from the kids! It was a pleasure to be a part of this tremendous event and we hope to continue and grow this partnership in the years coming.
In the Spring of 2018, an interdisciplinary team of four ELC members—Daniel Petracek, Trent Robinett, Samantha Scaglione and Andy Slavin—added to their already heavy course loads for the good of the community.
Mentor Gary Gilot connected the four engineering students with local residents Beth Sanford and LuElla Webster. Beth and LuElla have dedicated years of work to revitalize Kelly Park, located on the southwest corner of Howard Street and N Saint Peter Street. As part of the pilot Community Project Leadership course, the ELC team, guided by Gary, employed their engineering and project management skills to design the brick pathway that now outlines the park’s sidewalk. Utilizing AutoCAD, the team was able to layout the pattern consisting of several hundred bricks. Receiving feedback from their two resident partners, the students completed several iterations of the design before drafting the one that is shown in the images below. The team had to consider area and budget constraints for this project as well as the placement of special donor bricks. The donor bricks near the park’s entrance highlight those people and groups that made the renovation of Kelly Park possible. Beth and LuElla were generous enough to give ELC their own donor brick for their non-monetary contribution to the park.
This project was a tremendous learning experience for the students enrolled in this course. It provided them the opportunity to apply skills acquired in the class while also making a real-world impact in a South Bend neighborhood not far removed from their campus. ELC hopes to build off of the momentum from this project by completing even more meaningful and involved work in the coming years.