Awards and Recognition

Newman Fellow Award

The Newman Civic Fellowship honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Through service, research, and advocacy, Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change. These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world. The Newman Civic Fellowship is made possible through the generous support of the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.

Milica Bojovic

Milica Bojovic
International Studies: Class of 2022
Written 2021

"Milica Bojovic is an international studies student at American University, with concentrations in Global Inequality and Development and Global and Comparative Governance. Her dedication to social inclusion and activism is exemplified in numerous and diverse leadership and service experiences. Milica serves in student leadership roles as Peer Mentor with the Community Service Learning Program and as an Alternative Break Program leader within the AU Center for Engagement & Service. Milica has served with non-profit agencies such as the Latino Student Fund, Next Step Public Charter School, and Captiol Area Immigration Reform (CAIR) Coalition. As a DC Read tutor she has worked in multiple sites throughout the city supporting instruction and promoting education access. Her commitment to justice and service work spans communities across the DC area, and on a global scale to Honduras and Chile." -Sylvia Burwell, President American University 

In her words….

"Upon joining American University’s School of International Service, I realized the word “service” really stood out to me and so I strived to understand its meaning more profoundly. This is how upon learning of service-learning opportunities my university’s Center for Community Engagement offers, I jumped at the opportunity and ever since the first semester of my freshman year, I have been involved with this program either as a volunteer, a peer mentor for newer volunteers, or both. I have since volunteered with a number of organizations focusing on education access and immigration rights throughout DC. Service quickly became inseparable from my academic, professional and personal life, and truly engraved in my heart. Most importantly, I have learned that service goes deeper than merely “helping.” I saw that through service we really see in practice how our liberation is bound up with that of others and we learn that successful service actually requires work towards mutual growth, learning, and liberation. I realized that service mindset should focus on constantly reexamining your role in dismantling injustice. Now I am working across various programs at our Center for Community Engagement to help motivate fellow students to become engaged and discover this invaluable opportunity."  

Past Recipients of the Newman Fellow Awards

Joshua Danntzler (2020)

Isabella Dominique (2019)

Ammarah Rehman (2018)

Taylor Dumpson (2017) 

Asha Smith (2016) 

Tatiana Lang (2015)

 

Compass-Compact Mid-Atlantic's Civic Engagement Award

Amanda Choutka

Our office would like to recognize Professor Amanda Choutka for receiving Compass-Compact Mid-Atlantic's Civic Engagement Award. Amanda has been a champion of social justice and service for the campus and the city and we are excited for this achievement. Prof. Choutka has, in recent years, taken her expertise beyond the Writing Studies Program. She has served on AU’s Community-Based Learning Faculty Advisory Board, planned faculty-development activities (including a local conference), and participated in university-wide discussions about community-based learning. She currently teaches a community-based Complex Problems (first-year inquiry) course and Horton’s Kids, in southeast D.C., has been one of Amanda's community partners for almost 10 years, since her first CB class in Spring of ’11. 

Her courses have evolved from students reflecting on their community-based learning experiences to more comprehensive, pre-service training, anti-racism instruction, and cultural and historical context of D.C.’s 8 wards. Students complete service projects for community partners and often go on to become interns, staff, student leaders on campus, and program leaders for Complex Problems. Her dedication to community involvement, the impact of her work on both her students and the larger community is an inspiration. Congratulations Amanda!

Martin Luther King Jr. Visionary Award 2021

George Garcia

Our 2021 MLK Visionary Award, George Garcia (He, Him, His) has more than 14 years of professional work experience as a community leader to meet traditionally at-risk and underserved communities’ health and educational needs. Before assuming his current role as Director of Education and Workforce at The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), Mr. Garcia oversaw the Health Promotions program as the Health Promotions Program Manager. As Director Mr. Garcia oversees the After Schools program (offering young academic support and enrichment during after school hours for DCs elementary, middle, and high schools); the Community School program (partnerships between the school and community resources that support students and families in and beyond the classroom); AmeriCorps program (provides the opportunity for young adults who are considering a career in youth development, social service, to try their hand in a real-world setting and gain tons of useful skills); the Workforce program (students receive integrated education and workforce training that prepares them for their careers of choice).

Mr. Garcia also served as Board President and CEO of Equality Inland Empire (EQIE). EQIE was the only LGBT organization in California’s San Bernardino county that focused on LGBT rights. As Board President/CEO, Mr. Garcia developed and executed new programs, led all community engagement efforts, oversaw all grants, and navigated the organization to align with the community’s needs. Mr. Garcia also had the pleasure of working for Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance (RPYA). RPYA is the only LGBT youth-focused organization in California’s San Bernardino county. At RPYA, Mr. Garcia was responsible for working with youth in the Inland Empire region in southern California, who are at risk for mental health issues, substance abuse, and exposure to STI/HIV. He also worked with the community to implement new programs within RPYA and conducted “culturally competent training” in for-profit and non-profit organizations on RPYA’s behalf.

Mr. Garcia has a Master of Public Administration from the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, DC.

“No matter where we live on the planet or how difficult our situation seems to be, we have the ability to overcome and transcend our circumstances.” ― Louise Hay

Twitter: @GeorgeEmGarcia 

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nonprofit-empowerment-programs/

Email: george.em.garcia@gmail.com or george@layc-dc.org