Hanna Community Center receives 2013 Exemplary Community Partner award

June 10, 2013  

The Hanna Community Center has received Purdue's 2013 Exemplary Community Partner Award.

The award recognizes local nonprofits that provide opportunities for Purdue students to enhance their education through volunteer and service-learning activities. The award carries a $1,000 cash prize, and it will be presented during a community celebration June 17 at Imagination Station, 600 N. Fourth St. in Lafayette.

A panel representing the leadership of Boiler Volunteer Network, Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), the College of Liberal Arts Engagement office and the Office of Community Relations selected the award's recipient. Purdue faculty and staff nominated five nonprofit organizations for the award.

Several Purdue organizations nominated Hanna Center, including the College of Veterinary Medicine, which provides the center with student volunteers. Many of the college's students also participate in service-learning activities there.

According to the college's nomination letter, veterinary medicine students improve their communication skills and cultural awareness, embrace community service, learn role-modeling skills and build grant-writing skills through their work at the center.

 Purdue senior Jackie Lai says that her activity at Hanna Center is a significant factor in her education and personal development.

"For most of my life, I have considered myself to be a very passive and quiet person," Lai says. "After being around these children, my communication and leadership skills have increased dramatically. Now I have the ability to lead a room full of 30 children. Without Hanna Center, I do not believe I could have experienced a full college career."

Heather Maddox, Hanna Center's executive director, cites a long history of cooperation between the agency and Purdue.

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of not-for-profit agencies, and Purdue has provided more individuals for our center than any other entity over the years," Maddox says. "Purdue volunteers and those involved in service-learning not only give tremendous assistance to the operation of our center, but serve as great role models for the children who come to our agency daily.

"We are also thankful for the many Purdue faculty and staff who have provided leadership to our organization by serving on the Hanna Center board of directors since the founding of the organization."

Other organizations nominated for the award are the Lyn Treece Boys and Girls Club of Tippecanoe County, Tippecanoe County Historical Association, Little Star Center and the International Center.

The Lafayette Crisis Center received the inaugural Exemplary Community Partner Award in 2012.

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