Student’s Summer Research Nets $75,000 Grant for Senior Citizens Foundation

December 09, 2011

Texas Lutheran University (TLU) student Elizabeth Beck-Dietert earned more than just class credit when her summer internship resulted in the successful acquisition of a $75,000 Kronkosky Charitable Foundation Grant for the Comal County Senior Citizens Foundation (CCSCF).

Beck-Dietert, a senior communications studies major, was selected to work on researching and writing grants with CCSCF as a summer intern in TLU’s “Write to Serve” program. As a result of Beck-Dietert’s research, the CCSCF successfully submitted a Kronkosky Charitable Foundation Renewal Grant for $75,000 that was funded in October 2011. CCSCF will use the funds to support programs like Meals On Wheels, congregate meal services, transportation services, My Friend’s Haus (an adult day center), and educational and activity programs that directly benefit the senior citizens of Comal and Guadalupe counties.

“We are grateful for the work of the students in the ‘Write to Serve’ program. The help that ‘Write to Serve’ and in particular, Beth Beck-Dietert, gave us was so very important to the success of the grant. Beth’s research was an extremely important part of the submission. This proves that we have a great formula for a partnership with TLU,” said Lynn Mahaffey, Fund Development Manager for CCSCF.

“I am thrilled CCSCF was awarded the grant because they do so much for the seniors in Comal and Guadalupe counties,” said Beck-Dietert. “The ‘Write to Serve’ program was a perfect fit for me because I enjoy the writing process and I aspire to pursue a career as a development officer in the non-profit sector. Having the opportunity to work on a project with tangible results as an undergraduate is great because it gives me real world experience to bring to the table when I start looking for a full-time job in May,” said Beck-Dietert.

“Write to Serve” is a service-learning program created in 2010 by TLU lecturer Beth Barry to give TLU’s composition students the opportunity to use their research and writing skills to serve the surrounding community. Barry developed the “Write to Serve” concept in response to TLU’s focus on hands-on learning opportunities that link real world experiences with course objectives. The “Write to Serve” program was extended into the summer of 2011 to provide students with an opportunity to work directly with community partners and advance the work started during the academic year.

“Students produce better work when they write for real people and for real reasons. These writing projects allow them to use their skills to help others. Everybody wins,” said “Write to Serve” project designer, Barry. “Beth’s work is exciting because it tapped into her own professional goals. Plus, TLU’s mission is to prepare students for lives of leadership and service. That’s what we do,” said Barry.


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