Student Life: LEADS at Spelman


Thank you for supporting civic engagement at Spelman College. This semester, the Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development (BOCSSD) has had the pleasure of hosting students, faculty, and staff during service projects, community partner events, and training programs. The Engaged Scholar Training Series continued successfully with the introduction of our certificate based Non-Profit Management Series. In its first semester, the series received an overwhelmingly upbeat response from Spelman students. We also launched a new volunteer database, GET CONNECTED (replacing Volunteer Solutions), that has helped us better connect the Spelman community with our partner organizations. Without you, our work would not be possible. We continue to encourage you to make a choice to change the world and to take action to make a difference in the lives of others. We look forward to bringing you more civic engagement opportunities next semester. Please plan to share your holiday service stories and photos with us. We wish you a safe and joyous holiday season.


On Monday, January 19, 2015, Spelman College will engage in a day of service to honor the memory of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year’s theme is Serving Towards the Beloved Community*. Programming for this annual day of service will highlight the historical commitment of Spelman College to encourage student engagement in our local communities. Service events will focus on the Project Impact neighborhoods and target education, financial stability, health, and environmental sustainability. The BOCSSD will mobilize students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and community partners to participate in service projects with Project Karma, The Atlanta Community Food Bank, Patchwork City Farms, The Center for Working Families, and others. For more information, contact Brandy McKenney, Interim Community Service Coordinator, at

* “The Beloved Community” is a term coined by the philosopher-theologian Josiah Royce; however, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who popularized the term and invested it with a deeper meaning, which has captured the imagination of people all over the world. Dr. King’s ‘Beloved Community’ is a global vision, in which poverty, hunger, and homelessness will not be tolerated, because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Also, an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood will replace racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice.

Jan. 18: MLK Day of Service
Feb. 3: Recyclemania Kickoff
Feb.15: Saturday Service Series:
Hands On Atlanta
Feb. 15: Saturday Service Series:
Hands On Atlanta and The Atlanta
Day Shelter
Feb. 22: Saturday Service Series:
Hosea Feed the Hungry

Spelman College Celebrates the MLK Jr National Day of Service

The 2014 MLK Day of Service at Spelman College took place on Saturday, Jan.18, 2014. This year’s theme was "Mobilizing Our Community." Programming for this annual day of service highlighted the importance of service on campus and in the Spelman Community.

Projects focused on the Project Impact neighborhoods surrounding Spelman’s campus and target education, health, financial stability and environmental sustainability.

The Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development mobilized over 200 students, faculty, staff, alumnae, community partners and West End residents to participate in service projects with the following organizations:The Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Jumpstart, The KENO Foundation, Operation P.E.A.C.E., Project Karma, and others. For more information, contact Elizabeth Rountree, community service coordinator at

Community Leader Honored with the 2014 Local Community Service Award


Alesia Alexander Layne, founder of Project Karma was honored with the Spelman College Local Community Service Award on November 13, 2014. Ms. Alexander Layne was recognized for her work with young people facing the loss of a loved one and possible gang involvement. Since founding Project Karma in 2011, Alexander Layne has not only provided supported for youth, but has expanded her mission by developing and supporting community programs that include a garden, food pantry, and clothing closet.

Ms. Alexander Layne was inspired by the dedicated and unwavering care her family received during the illness and subsequent death of her father. Her work over the last decade has focused on at risk children and teens in the school setting. The mission of Project KARMA Inc. is to empower and celebrate the potential of young people in a positive and affirming way in order to promote self-esteem, validate the impact of loss on social development, and offer an alternative to gang involvement.

Certified in Arts and Community Practice by Florida State University, Layne is the author of four resources for grieving youth and their advocates. Tapestries: A Creative & Inclusive Approach to Grief Support for Youth & Communities (2013), Dream Clouds (2011), Un Mural Para Mamita/A Mural for Mamita (2001), and Sunflowers & Rainbows for Tia: Saying Goodbye to Daddy (1999).


During the fall semester, in addition to connecting students to community partner opportunities, the BOCSSD held a successful series of 12 Saturday and weekday projects. Through these projects, students were offered the opportunity to make an impact in the community and connect with partners who have ongoing service needs. The projects included work with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Bethune Elementary, the Center for the Visually Impaired, United Way of Metro Atlanta, and West Atlanta Watershed Alliance. The series kicked off on August 27, 2014 with Project Pay It Forward Part II, where students stuffed backpacks with school supplies, and ends with a Friday service project at the Chick-fil-A/Junior Achievement Discovery Center on November 21. At the Discovery Center, Spelman students support middle school participants at the BizTown simulation, a life- size town center created to teach students about money management, career opportunities, and decision making.

In all, the response to the Project Impact Service Series has been positive. Students who chose to participate have served with enthusiasm and compassion each week. The BOCSSD will maintain its commitment to engage the campus in impactful service projects on a regular basis. Stay tuned for a list of projects that will be featured in the spring semester. Details will be available in the next issue of Spelman Serves.

Community Service Spotlights


Community Partner Spotlight: Junior Achievement of Georgia

Junior Achievement of Georgia (JAG) was founded in Atlanta in 1943 as an after-school program. Since then, it has reached more than 84,000 students statewide each year through district offices in Atlanta, Augusta, Dalton, Gainesville, and Savannah. JAG programs prepare children in kindergarten through 12th grade for entering the workforce by teaching them about free enterprise, developing character skills, and reinforcing the value of education. The interactive lessons are developed by the nation's leading educators and are aligned with Georgia's education standards. In 2013, JAG and the Chick-fil-A Foundation teamed up to create The Discovery Center, creating a financial literacy and readiness career center, that serves students in Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Schools and Fulton County Schools. Set up in the Georgia World Congress Center’s Building C, there are separate virtual miniature Atlantas, one called “JA BizTown” and the other “JA Finance Park.” Each year, JAG and Chick-fil-A provide more than 30,000 middle school students with a hands-on experience to learn the realities of life outside of the classroom. The students learn the tools to manage a budget and how to work.

The Junior Achievement Chick-fil-A Center is a Spelman College community partner with the BOCSSD and has an ongoing need for volunteers. For more information on Junior Achievement of Georgia and the Chick-fil-A Discovery Center, please visit


B.A.D. Girls on Campus

On November 16, 2013, The Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development hosted Spelman’s annual Keshia Knight Pulliam Community in Schools Day. Thirty young ladies from M. Agnes Jones Elementary School spent the day exploring this year’s theme: “B.A.D. Girls Club: Empowering Beautiful, Artistic, and Driven Girls”. The purpose of the day was to redefine the popular term “bad” as it is applied to women.

The activities were designed to encourage girls to explore how they can be more than
the scantily clad, profanity screaming “bad girls” that they see on television. Workshops for the day focused on leadership, artistic abilities, self-esteem, and community service. Workshop facilitators included: Maya Prentiss, C’2015; Bria Henderson, C’2015; Camille Henderson, C’2015; and Bria Toussaint, C’2016.

The 2013 Keshia Knight Pulliam Community in Schools Day coordinators were, Bonner Office Community Impact Interns: Kabrillen Jones, C’2015, and Faith Porter, C’2014.

Non-Profit Management Series Kicks Off

 Designed to provide a strong overall foundation in all aspects of non-profit organization management, this series focuses on preparing students to meet the evolving needs of the sector and better meet day-to-day challenges within an organization. Kicking off at Spelman on October 6, 2014, the Non-Profit Management Series was attended by 21 students, who over the course of five weeks, learned the fundamentals of the non-profit sector including, key challenges, revenue sources operations, programs, and advocacy. (continued on the next page)


Registered Student Organization Spotlight: Sisters Keeping It Real Though Service (SKIRTS, Inc.)

SKIRTS, Inc. is a registered student organization on Spelman’s campus with a name that explains it all! SKIRTS, Inc. supports young women in underserved communities. Members of SKIRTS, Inc. conduct a series of workshops designed to promote self-esteem, develop self-awareness, and build leadership skills among the middle school participants. In addition, the young women attend activities that allow them to demonstrate their evolving growth and maturity. Most importantly, the organization coordinates and participates in community service projects designed to help others. SKIRTS, Inc. is committed to engaging participants in positive experiences that will support their success. Each SKIRTS member fulfills at least six hours of community service each month, while also participating in other service initiatives. Ongoing projects include feeding the homeless with City of Refuge on Sunday mornings, the Discovery Program at local Atlanta schools, and Mini SKIRTS. Mini SKIRTS is an after-school mentoring program with local middle school girls, teaching the importance of community service.

SKIRTS was found in 2002 by Nicole Ray (CEO) at G. James Gholson Middle School in Prince George’s County, MD. In 2004, the chapter was formed at Spelman by Monica Ray (vice chair) and an additional chapter was founded in 2007 at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. For more information on SKIRTS, Inc. and how to get involved at Spelman, contact president Jillian Jones at

 Upon completion of the series, students received a certificate from the Georgia Center for Non-Profits, signifying their understanding of the principles and best practices for managing a non-profit organization. The Non-Profit Management Series is a part of the Engaged Scholar Training Series that has been offered by the BOCSSD since the fall of 2013. Non-Profit Management will be offered again during the fall 2015 semester.

The Engaged Scholar Training Series is open to all Spelman College students. These trainings were designed to assist students in understanding the democratic process of engagement in community and civic life.

Spelman Bonner Program and Community Service

@SpelmanServes @SpelmanLEADS


The time is here! Fall community service hours for sophomores are due on November 21, 2014 by midnight. Sophomores must have completed a total of eight hours during the fall 2014 semester. As a reminder, the BOCSSD encourages students to serve the community within a 1.7-mile radius surrounding the Spelman Campus (Project Impact). If assistance is needed with finding service opportunities, please log on to our volunteer database, GET CONNECTED, at to search for opportunities with one of the community partners registered there. Hours must be logged on GET CONNECTED by the deadline to be verified for Sophomore Year Experience (SYE). Please do not hesitate to visit the BOCSSD in Manley Center Office 202 or contact us at 404.270.5306 for more information.

Community Partner Spotlight: Aniz, Inc.

Aniz, Inc. is a local health organization founded by Zina Age. Seventeen years ago Zina noticed a gap in services for African Americans and Latinos who were infected with HIV/AIDS.

She wanted to bring resources into the community that would provided residents with mental health support, substance abuse counseling, and general information about the importance of establishing healthy boundaries and practicing safe sex. Aniz, Inc. is an important resource in the Atlanta community.

They distribute free condoms, organize college pop-up information sessions and, provide free HIV testing. Aniz, Inc.’s has succeeded in keeping their doors open despite serious funding cuts and plays a critical role in encouraging community advocacy. Spelman College students can get involved by advocating locally and nationally for HIV testing and the passage of mandatory status disclosure laws.

If you would like to know more about Aniz, Inc. and their work you can contact them at:

Summer Opportunities

Community Service Hours Due November 21


Student Spotlight: Desiree D. Booker

Desiree is a senior psychology major who, this summer, interned with Corporate Boys & Girls Clubs of America in the areas of sports, entertainment, and alumni development. During her tenure, she developed "Daughters of Ali,” a program for middle and high school girls that aims to develop students into agents of philanthropy and social activism through a series of modules emphasizing total health, political awareness, and public service. The program will be implemented in clubs nationwide during the 2015 spring semester.

Desiree also worked with the corporate social responsibility team to recruit collegiate participants for the 2014 Day for Kids Fundraising event. Day for Kids is a national initiative designed to raise awareness about critical issues facing youth. On the Day for Kids, adults have the opportunity to be kids for a day by competing in field day events such as relay races, hula-hoop challenges, and tug of war. Desiree was able to unify SpelHouse Greeks for a day of service by including the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Eta Kappa Chapter, men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Grand Pi Chapter, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Alpha Rho Chapter, and several other organizations. Desiree’s efforts with the Boys & Girls Clubs allowed her to combine her love for serving as an advocate for youth with her life-long passion for entertainment to fulfill a greater purpose. She will continue her pursuit of a career in the telecommunications industry in hopes of diversifying television with programming that eliminates misogynistic and racial stigmas.

Clinton Foundation Internship Program Returns to Spelman

The second annual LEADS-Clinton Foundation Internship Program kicks off in June. This internship reflects a partnership between Spelman College’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (LEADS) and the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation (Clinton Foundation).

Throughout their period of service, selected interns will work with a small team that focus on the Foundation’s mission of improving global health, strengthening economies, promoting healthier childhoods and protecting the environment by fostering partnerships among governments, businesses, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Internship opportunities exist in the following areas: Research and Analysis (initiatives such as Health, Climate/Environment, Girls and Women, etc.), Communications, Logistics and Technology.

The 2014 Clinton Foundation Internship will run from June - Aug. 29, 2014. If you are interested in applying, please contact Kiesha Cooper at to review the application requirements. The application deadline is Jan. 24, 2014.


The Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (LEADS)
The Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development (BOCSSD)
Spelman College
Jane E. Smith Ed.D, Executive Director, LEADS
Jilo M. Tisdale, Director, BOCSSD
Sheryl Belizaire, Bonner Scholars Coordinator
Kiesha Cooper, Bonner Program Assistant
Britney Peyton, Community Service & Bonner Fellow
Elizabeth Rountree, Community Service Coordinator
Britney Peyton, Newsletter Editor
Phone: 404-270-5309 Fax: 404-270-5308