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Engagement in Practice: The Boys & Girls Clubs as Community Partner for Engineering

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Community Engagement Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

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Paper Authors


Jane M. Fraser Colorado State University, Pueblo

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Jane M. Fraser is chair of the Department of Engineering at Colorado State University-Pueblo. She was formerly on the faculty at the Ohio State University and Purdue University. She has a BA in mathematics from Swarthmore College and MS and PhD in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of California-Berkeley.

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Rebecca Medina Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo County

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Becky began her career with Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo County in 1994 as a volunteer and became a staff member in 1995. As the Vice President of Operations & Assessment, Becky oversees all Clubhouse operations, including programming, partnership and evaluation of the Club’s five core program areas. Since beginning her career with Boys & Girls Clubs of Pueblo County in 1995, she has held the positions Career/Education Coordinator, Clubhouse Director, and Director of Operations.

Prior to that, she has held positions as an office manager with a truss manufacturing plant, a research biologist and as a research assistant with the Steadman Hawkins Foundation in Vail. In addition to working with BGCPC, she currently is the Chair of the Youth Employment Council, a member of One Community, member and past president of the Boys & Girls Clubs Professional Association, and past Vice President and current Secretary/Newsletter Editor for Southern Colorado Runners Club. She also was the past president for the Pueblo Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission and volunteers in numerous other community activities.

Becky earned her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Population Organismic Biology from Colorado University – Boulder

She believes in BGCPC’s mission for several different reasons. Becky truly believes the Club offers the best experience for youth to grow and develop in a safe, supervised environment. The Club staff are mentors to youth and partners with parents and the community. She believes that every day she receives more than she can ever give and if you truly love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.

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The Boys & Girls Clubs of America serve nearly 4 million young people each year at 4,200 facilities in the US and at military bases overseas. With a mission “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens;” with programs in education and career, character and leadership, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation; with an increasing focus on STEM; and with a student population that is 70% nonwhite, BGCA is a strong potential partner for engineering programs. Engineering programs often want to engage in service activities targeted at underrepresented youth, to provide service learning opportunities to engineering students, and to enlarge the pool of youth who are interested in pursuing engineering studies.

Thus, BGCA is a natural partner for engineering programs. This paper reports on a 16-year collaboration between an engineering department and a BGCA affiliate. The paper describes the initiation of the partnership, the activities that have been involved, the benefits and drawbacks to each partner, the strains that have occurred, the ways we have maintained the partnership, and the future plans for this collaboration.

We argue that such an ongoing collaboration offers clear benefits not obtainable by short-term or one-time activities.

Fraser, J. M., & Medina, R. (2017, June), Engagement in Practice: The Boys & Girls Clubs as Community Partner for Engineering Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28238

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