(April 21, 2014) -- Graduate students in the UTSA College of Public Policy Department of Social Work are facilitating a series of events to empower former homeless women as part of a semester-long service-learning project, Positive Development: Reframing the Future. The events are organized in cooperation with Haven for Hope and the Center for Health Care Services (CHCS).
The social work students are working with a group of women currently receiving benefits from the CHCS In-House Wellness program and living on the Haven for Hope campus. The events are designed to equip participants with the confidence and tools to allow them to live independently in the community by focusing on empowering their "mind, body and spirit."
"Our project, Positive Development, is meant to provide self-esteem building opportunities for this amazing group of women," said Kristin T. Lopez, a graduate student in the Advanced Communities course and a project coordinator. "In the process, we are making human connections by learning about their lives, their strengths, hopes and dreams, and barriers are breaking down in ways that we hope will empower them to achieve their future successes."
Each semester, the Advanced Communities course taught by Robert Ambrosino, senior lecturer in the UTSA Department of Social Work, takes classroom learning into the community through hands-on projects aimed at transforming lives.
The Advanced Communities students are in charge of completing all aspects of the semester-long projects. In the past, students in the Advanced Communities class have worked closely with Haven for Hope on several projects including launching a recreational soccer program, painting a mural on the Haven for Hope campus and the B Heard Music Festival. According to Ambrosino, Positive Development is the most ambitious project any of his classes has ever attempted.
Since the project got underway, the students have organized Zumba and basic self-defense classes, nutrition and cooking classes, and special makeover sessions, which included make-up, hair and spa sessions.
The series of events will conclude May 3 with a red carpet-themed candlelight dinner at First Presbyterian Church. The participants will be treated to free luxury transportation to and from the event and have the opportunity to have a free professional photo taken of them for use in future endeavors.
The dinner also will provide community partners and sponsors who have donated to the cause to meet and engage with the participants. The Advanced Community students will cater the event, and a motivational speaker is scheduled. For more information, email Robert Ambrosino.
Positive Development: Reframing the Future is one of the first projects to be featured on UTSA's new crowd-funding website, Launch UTSA, through the UTSA Development Office. For information on how to contribute to the project, visit the UTSA Positive Development Launch website.
>> View photos and learn more about Positive Development events.>> Learn more about the UTSA College of Public Policy and the UTSA Department of Social Work and Master of Social Work program.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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