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Georgetown University: Good Citizen


Founded in 1789, Georgetown University has maintained a close relationship with the nation's capital for more than two centuries, providing services, opportunities, leadership and resources to District of Columbia neighborhoods, businesses and government. The University takes seriously its role to help strengthen the economic, cultural and social fabric of Washington, D.C.

Access to University Resources

As a major international research university, Georgetown offers its neighbors access to a range of resources, including lectures by prominent public figures and scholars; a variety of options for continuing education; a library with more than one million volumes and cutting-edge electronic research tools; religious services; performing arts and other cultural events; service and support groups; and athletic facilities and sporting events.

Engaged in Our Communities

Over the past several decades, Georgetown has devoted significant resources to aiding and collaborating with District neighborhoods and residents in areas ranging from education and economic planning to health assistance and child development. Our programs include:

Meyers Institute for College Preparation. Since 1989, the Meyers Institute for College Preparation has worked with hundreds of students from Ward 7 communities to provide the academic and extracurricular opportunities that lead to college. Starting in the 7th grade, cohorts of about 50 students engage with Georgetown for six years -- studying on campus, traveling domestically and internationally, and working with college mentors. As a result, some 98 percent of students who participate in the Meyers Institute go on to college, including six students who have graduated from Georgetown. Using several major grants by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and a recent $10 million gift from the Meyers Foundation, Georgetown is expanding the program with a goal of having six cohorts of fifty students from grades 7-12 at any given time.

Legal Services for People in Need. The Georgetown University Law Center operates the top-ranked clinical legal education program in the country. Its clinical programs provide legal services on issues ranging from landlord-tenant relations to criminal justice to civil rights. In addition to the clinics, Law Center faculty, staff and students provide thousands of hours of assistance to D.C. residence through pro bono projects, public interest internships, and other volunteer activities.

Capital Breast Care Center. Located in Southeast Washington, D.C., the Capital Breast Care Center aims to reduce breast cancer disparities in the District of Columbia. Funded by the D.C. Government and Georgetown, the Center offers health education, genetic counseling and testing, clinical breast exams, and mammograms regardless of a woman's ability to pay. The Center currently provides services to more than 200 women each month.

DC Health Resources Partnership. Through this initiative, Medical Center faculty at Georgetown’s Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD) work to expand the community health care capacity to provide health and mental health services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Partners in this initiative include the Arc of DC, DC Primary Care Association, the DC Coalition of Service Providers, Project Action, the Quality Trust Individuals with Disabilities, and the Georgetown University Department of Family Medicine.

Advocating For Ourselves. With funding from the DC Developmental Disabilities State Planning Council, faculty from GUCHDD sponsor Advocating For Ourselves, a training and technical assistance project that empowers families and individuals with disabilities to become more informed and acquire the advocacy skills to bring about system change.

The Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. In Summer 2010, Georgetown will provide more than a dozen summer job opportunities as part of the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Office. As part of the program, schools, departments and offices across the University are developing paid internships for young D.C. men and women.

Health Workforce Innovation Project. Georgetown’s School of Nursing and Health Studies partnered with the DC Department of Employee Services and Georgetown University Hospital to launch the Health Workforce Innovation Project. With funding from the DC Council, the program trains Washington D.C. residents to work as health unit coordinators in several DC hospitals. Once trained, these coordinators become responsible for administrative tasks such as transcribing medical orders, responding to patient needs, code notification, and compiling medical charts.

President's D.C. Scholarship. Georgetown University awards special scholarships to up to five District of Columbia residents with demonstrated financial need. These scholarships are renewable up to four years and buy out the loan component of a student’s financial aid package. All students from D.C. receive a financial aid package, including loans, that meets their full financial need.

Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School Partnership. When Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School opened in 2007, Georgetown pledged to support the school’s mission of offering young people from low-income communities the chance to attend an academically rigorous, Catholic high school while earning valuable work experience. Every year, the University hosts a variety of orientation and training programs for area Cristo Rey students, and many members of the Georgetown community volunteer their time at the school. Georgetown currently employs 20 Don Bosco students with work-study opportunities that cover about 70 percent of their tuition costs.

Leadership in Community Organizations. Georgetown University leaders play important roles on in many local government and nonprofit organizations. President DeGioia serves on the board of the Federal City Council, a nonprofit organization that works to improve life in the District of Columbia. Senior Vice President of Strategic Development Dan Porterfield serves on the board of Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School. Associate Vice President for External Relations Linda Greenan serves on Washington Convention Center Authority, the Georgetown Business Improvement District, and the Georgetown Business Association. Head men’s basketball coach John Thompson, III and his wife Monica are active in the city.

Ward 7 Initiative. The Ward 7 Initiative focuses on strengthening partnerships with schools, community organizations, and other partners to build a broad network of support for students and families in Ward 7. University support comes through staff and student-run literacy programs, as well as faculty and course initiatives, research, and additional infrastructural support for community outreach across Georgetown’s Main Campus, Medical Center, and Law Center.

Community Service in D.C.

Georgetown embraces and lives out the Catholic, Jesuit ideal of service in its undergraduate, graduate, law, professional and medical schools. The more than 100 community service initiatives at Georgetown involve countless students, faculty, staff and alumni. Our Center for Social Justice coordinates community service on the Main Campus.

After School Kids (ASK) Program. Since 1987, Georgetown University has run a DC Superior Court-funded program in which students to serve as tutors and mentors for court-supervised youth. The program provides youth with opportunities and support networks that can be resources for positive choices. The Superior Court recently signed a five-year agreement with the University to expand the program’s size and scope.

D.C. Schools Project. Since its inception in 1984, the D.C. Schools Project has recruited thousands of Georgetown undergraduates to work with the increasing numbers of families of immigrant backgrounds. The nationally recognized program uses mentoring, tutoring and family support to help these students develop confidence so that they can realize their potential.

D.C. Reads. As a part of the America Reads initiative, more than 150 students each semester tutor at-risk children in several public and Catholic elementary schools and community-based agencies.

Health Care for the Medically Underserved. Faculty, staff and students in Georgetown Medical Center volunteer their time and skills to provide health services including medical care, health education, testing and evaluation. All Georgetown medical students participate in educational-based service in the District of Columbia, including a program that has focused on improving healthcare for the District’s homeless populations.

Mobile Pediatric Clinic. For nearly two decades, faculty members from the School of Medicine have provided pediatric care for children in D.C. using mobile clinics. Through a partnership between Georgetown University Hospital, MedStar Health and Ronald McDonald House Charities, Georgetown faculty and medical students are currently providing mobile pediatric services from the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile to D.C. Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8.

HOYA Clinic. HOYA Clinic is the District of Columbia’s first student-driven free clinic, providing treatment and regular care to homeless and low-income populations at the former site of D.C.’s General Hospital. The care is provided by students, faculty and residents from Georgetown’s School of Medicine, and the project is made possible through a collaboration between the School of Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital, the D.C. Department of Health and MedStar Health.

The Coral Network. The Community Research and Learning (CoRAL) Network, housed at the University, is a consortium of community-based organizations and higher education institutions in the Washington, D.C. metro area engaged in community-based learning and research to promote positive social change and advance their social justice missions.

Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI) Mentorship Program. Every year, GPPI graduate students work with Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy serving as tutors and mentors as they write their public policy theses. At the end of the year, the Cesar Chavez students present their work to an audience of GPPI faculty and students.

Georgetown University Math and Science Hands-On Enrichment. The Georgetown University Math and Science Hands-On Enrichment program is a student initiative that provides academic support in math and science to students throughout DC Public Schools. In its first year, the program provided 75 math and science tutors to area high schools as well as 8 docents to the Lemelson Center Spark!Lab, a hands-on innovation exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Faculty Working in the Community

Through their research, teaching and scholarship, Georgetown faculty lead initiatives that address some of the most pressing problems facing communities in Washington, D.C.

District of Columbia Family Impact Seminars. Georgetown Public Policy Institute Faculty Member William Gormley runs this series of seminars, discussion sessions, and briefing reports that provide local policymakers with nonpartisan, solution-oriented research on family issues including after-school programs, children’s health insurance, early childhood care and education, juvenile crime, and welfare reform.

Improving Emergency Preparedness. Health Systems Administration Professor Michael Stoto has
been working with a coalition of health care providers, led by the Washington Hospital Center and funded by the federal government, to improve emergency preparedness. Using surveys, interviews, and process observation, Stoto is evaluating local capacity for handling health emergencies.

Integrating Coursework and the Community. In Sociology Professor Sam Marullo’s courses, students learn to integrate classroom learning with work for community-based organizations in D.C. in order to better understand class materials and to help the organizations better achieve their goals of advancing social justice. His courses include Theater as Social Change, The Contemporary City, and Project D.C. Marullo also founded the Community Research and Learning (CoRAL) network.

Teaching Biology in D.C. Classrooms. Every year, Assistant Professor of Biology Heidi Elmendorf mentors a select group of Georgetown Biology majors who wish to pursue teaching as part of their senior thesis. Elmendorf teaches the students how to structure effective lesson plans, evaluate student work and how to set learning goals. With Elmendorf’s guidance, the students go on to teach twice-weekly science courses at McKinley Technology High School in northeast D.C.

Preventing HIV infection in D.C. Nursing Assistant Professor Tammi L. Bishop, Ph.D and Psychiatry Assistant Professor Tiffany Townsend, Ph.D. serve as investigators on an NIH grant that aims to prevent HIV infection among African American adolescent girls in Washington, D.C., with special attention to the needs of girls who may have a history of childhood abuse/trauma.

Helping to Improve D.C. Public Schools. Heather Voke, Georgetown’s director for the Program in Education, Inquiry, and Social Justice and a visiting assistant professor of philosophy, helps to develop research and instructional collaborations between Georgetown University and people engaged in education in DC. She has worked with students and teachers in a low-performing public high school in Southeast D.C., and she is currently helping DCPS revise the District's standards for accrediting teacher education programs.

Building Schools in the District. In 1997, Georgetown Law Professor James Forman's interest in educational programs for at-risk and court-involved youth led him to co-found the Maya Angelou Public Charter School. Today, the school is recognized as one of the most successful programs of its kind, combining rigorous education, job training, counseling, mental health services, life skills, and dormitory living for school dropouts and youth who have previously been incarcerated.

Advising the Local Nonprofit Community. As the director of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership, Research Professor Kathy Kretman has served as an advisor to several local organizations including the Mayor’s Strengthening Partnership Initiative, the Nonprofit Roundtable of Washington, D.C., and the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.

The Catholic Schools Project. Every year, Professor John Hirsh teaches two English courses that provide more than 40 Georgetown students the opportunity to receive training in literacy tutoring and to assist youth in DC Catholic schools in developing reading, writing, and language arts.

Reaching Out to the University's Neighbors

Situated in an historic neighborhood, Georgetown University has reached out to the community immediately surrounding the university in unprecedented ways. The University has numerous staff whose work focuses on city and neighborhood relations, including Associate Vice President for External Relations Linda Greenan. The University has numerous initiatives related to off-campus student life, including a weekend hotline for neighbors and a strong partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department that helps keep the neighborhood safe and livable for all residents. All Georgetown students living off-campus participate in orientation sessions related to their responsibilities as neighbors.

Growing the Local Economy

Georgetown's powerful impact on the District's economy is evident not only in the money spent in the District by the University, but also in the spending of students and employees and the multiplier effect of university expenditures. More than 35,000 alumni live in the D.C. area.

In fiscal year 2011, Georgetown contributed directly to the District's economy in the following ways:

  • Paid approximately $175 million in wages and salaries to D.C. employees.
  • Spent approximately $86 million in the purchase of goods and services from vendors located in the District, and paid $29 million to Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs).
  • Paid approximately $10 million in taxes to the District.
  • Employed approximately 9,835 faculty and staff, 40% of whom are District residents.

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