This year has seen tremendous community outreach by University City businesses and nonprofits. We have highlighted several efforts in UCP newsletters and now offer this report from two of our biggest employers, TIAA-CREF and UNC Charlotte. The numbers are staggering: thousands of employees giving time, talent and love to our schoolchildren, university students and people in need. We hope that this report will warm your heart, as it did ours.
“A busy few months at TIAA-CREF”
Jarian Kerekes, who wrote this report, is the director of corporate social responsibility for TIAA-CREF’s Charlotte operations. Several thousand people work in TIAA-CREF’s regional facility in University Research Park. Jarian also serves on the Community Corporate Council of University City Connect, a coalition of businesses and civic groups providing support to the four public schools that comprise our Governors Village. Jarian recently shared with us this quick summary of outreach activities this year by area TIAA-CREF employees. Here is a slightly edited version of his note:
It has been a very busy few months at TIAA-CREF. This fall, we extended our Service Days events and re-configured our Charitable Giving Campaign – two key components of the new TIAA Serves platform we’ve recently launched. In Charlotte alone, I led over 35 volunteer projects around our community.
We led Five weeks of Service Days projects across four focus areas: Green/Sustainability, Hunger/Food Insecurity, Support for Title I Schools, and Financial Education. Our involvement saw 3,300 employees participate in 87 different projects across 27 offices, a total of more than 5,500 hours of service to others.
Meal pack project at UNC Charlotte
Continuing our theme of service, Jenny (Jennifer Matz, Assistant Director of Community Relations for UNC Charlotte) and I had a meal pack project on UNC-Charlotte’s campus on Nov. 18. Together we packed 30,000 meals to those in need with our partners at Stop Hunger Now. A few other updates I wanted to share that perhaps you could share with the group.
Introduction to UNC-Charlotte by Heather Gladys, Visit Coordinator
On Saturday, November 14th, Jenny and I worked with Right Moves For Youth to host 15 Vance High School students on a comprehensive Campus Tour that culminated with a home UNC-Charlotte Football Game/Senior Day.
Six UNC-Charlotte students led peer-focused Campus Tours and guided our Vance students through the campus and visited classrooms and key buildings on campus.
At the conclusion of the tour, we gathered in the Student Union, where four additional UNC-Charlotte students hosted a roundtable discussion on their experiences at UNC-Charlotte. The college students also offered tips for preparing for the collegiate journey and allowed the Vance students to ask questions about college life.
Additionally, Ben Miller from the UNC-Charlotte Office of Financial Aid led a discussion on applying for Financial Aid via the FAFSA.org website, the key steps to applying for financial aid, common mistakes of students who don’t take advantage of all the scholarship, and aid opportunities available to incoming freshmen.
The students then were treated to a VIP-style hospitality arrangement at the Niner Tailgate Pavilion before proceeding to the game. The students went home with with swag/gift bags of UNC-Charlotte gear.
The above Campus Tour activation was our first together but a great pilot with Right Moves For Youth and something we plan to offer again in 2016 for more Vance Students.
Other Governor’s Village Activation
Junior Achievement event – On Nov. 17, TIAA-CREF sponsored of the N.C. Business Hall of Fame dinner with Junior Achievement. We prepared a short video that showcased the work we have done with Vance High School. CTE Business Education Teacher Lavaar Wynn and three students were our special guests.
Financial literacy simulation – On Dec. 1 and Dec 2, TIAA-CREF partnered with Junior Achievement to expose 140 Vance Students to JA Finance Park (a hands-on, real-life simulation to teach young people personal financial literacy). Students have been providing pre-work instruction in the classroom preceding the field day activities in Uptown Charlotte with J.A.