Leadership in Diversity

Neag Student Groups Team Up for Ignite Fundraising Campaign

LID students at 2017 NAME Conference
LID students attended the National Association for Multicultural Education Conference in 2017.

Today begins the final week of HuskyDrive’s sixth annual Ignite fundraising campaign, which is a crowdsourcing competition that brings together students and recent alumni to raise money for their favorite UConn organizations. The 32 groups in the 2018 competition are not only raising money for their causes, but also competing to win an additional $20,000 in prizes by having the highest number of current student and GOLD (graduates of the last decade) alumni donors. Groups may also earn additional prize money through a series of fundraising, creative, and social media challenges throughout the competition.

This year, two student groups in the Neag School of Education, Husky Sport and Leadership In Diversity (LID) are teaming up for the campaign. With a shared goal of supporting Neag students in their pursuit of excellence towards equity and justice, the two organizations are excited to be partnered for the competition.

“I think it is awesome that LID and Husky Sport are able to partner for the Ignite fundraising campaign. I believe that LID and Husky Sport are both committed to making sure that students of color in K-12 schools receive an equitable education by providing resources to the teachers and schools they attend,” remarked Neag School of Education Academic Advisor and LID's Program Adivsor, Mia Hines, on the partnership.

Husky Sport students in a Classroom doing Push-ups
Husky Sport pairs UConn students with Hartford youth while utilizing the power of sport to build relationships.

Husky Sport is a community-campus partnership that utilizes the power of sport to build relationships, engage in shared learning, and empower stakeholders within the North End Hartford and University of Connecticut communities. Current IB/M Teacher Preparation Program student and Husky Sport Student-Staff Leader, Bricherland Quinones, elaborates on the importance of supporting Hartford students saying,

“Husky Sport matters because the program supports a community that has exhibited needs with enhanced exposure to a college, education, physical activity, and nutrition. There’s a need to support healthy lifestyles and holistic development, while opening relevant pathways in which members of the community can access.”

Not only is Husky Sport important to the population it serves, but UConn students involved benefit immensely as it gives them a unique opportunity for involvement in communities similar to those that they may someday be working in. “The way the organization trains and helps to professionally develop each [UConn] student is amazing because they try to be as accurate as they can by informing each participant on the historical and structural realities that exist while also working alongside this population,” adds Quinones on Husky Sport’s commitment to college student development.

Leadership In Diversity is a mentoring program that helps maintain and encourage confidence and success in students of color pursuing careers in the fields of elementary, secondary and higher education. As research demonstrates, there is an important relationship between the representation of teachers of color and academic achievement of students of color. LID hosts panels, workshops, and conferences that build on the foundations of the Neag School of Education's IB/M program and provides opportunities to learn outside the classroom. Kimberly Duhart, the current secretary of LID, explains, “Not only has LID been a support system, but I have also learned so much from the opportunities that we receive both on the state and national level. With LID, I have been able to travel to the National Association for Multicultural Education conference in Utah this past semester, as well as host our own Multicultural conference for professionals and students.”

Symone James teaching a child
Husky Sport and LID alumna, Symone James is currently a 5th grade teacher who uses her experiences from UConn and applies them to her teaching philosophy.

Neag Alumna, Symone James, who is currently a 5th grade teacher at Roger Sherman Elementary in Meriden, CT, was thrilled to hear of the partnership for this campaign. As a former president of LID and Student-Staff Leader with Husky Sport, James has a strong connection with both programs. On this joint opportunity she commented,

“So much of what I learned and my beliefs regarding race, equity and privilege came from my experiences through LID and Husky Sport. There’s so much potential and opportunities for new pathways through this partnership.”

Separately, Husky Sport and LID are both strong programs that mean a lot for the professional development and support of Neag students involved. However, the collaboration will help both programs grow and expand the reach of Neag students in providing equitable opportunities for education and outreach while they are at UConn and beyond. “I was so pleased when I heard the idea for the fundraising collaboration from (Husky Sport Managing Director) Dr. Justin Evanovich.  Husky Sport has benefited greatly from its participation in Ignite in the past, and it makes great sense to join with LID. Both programs share common missions and have made positive impacts in the lives of Neag students, and students throughout the state of Connecticut. I am excited for this year, and hopefully other collaborations in the future,” commented Dr. Jennie McGarry, department head in Educational Leadership and Husky Sport founder.

"Both programs share common missions and have made positive impacts in the lives of Neag students, and students throughout the state of Connecticut." - Jennie McGarry

Husky Sport staff photo, 2017
Husky Sport's team of leaders meet regularly to discuss relevant and important topics around equity and education.

Financial support generated during the 2018 Ignite campaign will fund scholarships, conferences, professional development opportunities, sustained community engagement, K-12 school partnerships and projects, and student-faculty research collaborations for Neag students in both programs. This is the beginning of a new relationship within Neag student-led programs which support students who are invested in equity and social justice issues.

“With additional funding, I can see students being supported to continue building their skills and preparedness in their educational leadership roles beyond their time at UConn. Students will have the means to attend professional development opportunities, aid their efforts within K-12 school settings, and create new and transformational actions around their passions in education,” explains Dominique Battle-Lawson, an Academic Advisor in the Neag School of Education and LID Program Advisor.  

To support, Husky Sport and LID in the 2018 Ignite campaign, make a donation by clicking DONATE below.

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