ARC Student Wins Grant

August 11, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University senior Kristy Hosack is the recipient of the Community Partnership grant from the University’s Action Research Center (ARC) and State Farm Insurance®.

ARC Coordinator Deborah Halperin announced the grant recipient Wednesday at Beckman Auditorium of The Ames Library during the wrap-up of the ARC Community Partnership Program with State Farm. “ARC students create collaborations within the community. They fill in the gaps,” said Halperin, who works to connect Illinois Wesleyan students with area not-for-profit organizations.

Through the partnership program, Hosack, a Spanish and history double major from Bloomington, worked this summer with State Farm’s public affairs department and volunteered for the Hispanic Families Work Group and Western Avenue Community Center. Part of the internship program required students to write an application for the ARC grant. Hosack plans to use the $500 grant funded by State Farm to support outreach efforts for Illinois Wesleyan’s “Radio Latino” program on the campus radio station, WESN 88.1. “This is one of only two Spanish-speaking programs in Bloomington-Normal,” said Hosack. “It is a way to reach an audience where language differences might make them unreachable. Radio Latino offers music and a feeling of community, and a way to connect to people about services and resources in the community.”

With the ARC Community Partnership Program, 10 Illinois Wesleyan students are chosen to work two internships in the summer – splitting their week between State Farm Insurance Companies and an area not-for-profit organization in town.

“We don’t think of this as an internship program, State Farm thinks of it as a leadership program,” said Alex Cardona, who works with State Farm’s Community Relations. “They are not only meeting this community’s needs, but gaining an understanding of the needs of every community.”

At the wrap-up meeting, ARC students reported on their summer internships at State Farm and with 10 not-for-profit organizations, from coordinating mental health services available in McLean County with the Baby Fold, to working with the Ecology Action Center to encourage small businesses to recycle. Students also gave an update on ARC efforts of Radio Latino and Blank Canvas – the joint initiative from ARC and the State Farm® Youth Advisory Board (YAB) which encourages first-generation and at-risk youth to attend college.

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960