Cornerstone is a service learning opportunity that gives students hands-on entrepreneurship experience and supports the social missions of more than 25 different non-profit organizations throughout Central Florida.
They include such organizations as Boys Town Central Florida, HOPE Foundation, Children’s Home Society, March of Dimes, Kids Beating Cancer and the Humane Society. All undergraduate students in the College of Business fulfill service learning requirements through Cornerstone, working in teams on major projects.
This summer, 19 teams of students raised nearly $28,000 to fund events, projects, and educational fieldtrips for underserved children at Boys Town. Students took children to visit Gatorland, the Orlando Museum of Science and Industry and go ice skating at the RDV Sportsplex.
“By coordinating and raising funds for these trips, the Cornerstone students really add an extra element to our organization that we normally wouldn’t have the budget or manpower for,” said Terry Knox, development director at Boys Town.
Students also coordinated a field trip to the Kennedy Space Center so the boys and girls could see the last shuttle launch.
College of Business Professor Lauryn Migenes said Cornerstone is a win-win for students and nonprofits.
“The student teams gain project management experience, and nonprofit organizations achieve their social missions and serve their beneficiaries more efficiently,” she said.
For the 2010-11 school year, 2,049 Cornerstone students volunteered more than 50,000 hours as social entrepreneurs engaged in helping those in need in the community, saving the organizations more than $950,000 in operational costs. Students also helped generate $500,000 in in-kind donations including clothing, food, and back to school items.
One of the Cornerstone teams also raised money to hire a professional resurfacing company to repair Boys Town’s dilapidated basketball court.
“Boys Town cherishes its partnership with UCF,” Knox said. “It really benefits the community we serve.”