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MILLS COLLEGE STUDENT-ATHLETES WIN NATIONAL AWARD FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE IN OAKLAND SCHOOLS
Oakland, CA–December 17, 2007. Reaching out to fill the needs of three Oakland middle schools, Mills College student-athletes spent a memorable day painting hallways, installing bulletin boards, and cleaning out and organizing a library. They made a difference for these neighborhood schools and received national recognition with the 2007 Josten's/National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) Community Service Award.
Mills earned top community service honors in a highly competitive field of more than 400 NCAA Division III eligible institutions. The award recognizes the contributions Division III student-athletes make to their campuses and local communities. This is the fourth consecutive year in which Mills has received a Josten's/NADIIIAA community service award.
The school principals at ROOTS International Academy, Havenscourt Middle School, and Coliseum College Prep Academy talked about how the Mills projects were valuable in building pride among their middle school students and in encouraging Havenscourt children to have aspirations of one day pursuing a college education. The principals spoke of the importance of making their schools feel like a safe place for learning.
Responding to those needs, Mills student-athletes vigorously engaged in the September 10, 2006 project entitled "Hand in Hand We Can All Make a Difference." Through this process, the Mills College Cyclones strengthened their ties to the broader Oakland community. Student-athletes continued to work with the Havenscourt Middle Schools for the rest of the year to paint a wall mural depicting flags with the names of colleges and universities.
Eighty students participated in the daylong event with 15 staff members of the Mills Athletics Department.
The project included:
"Having gone to an under-funded urban middle school, I really appreciate the addition of even the slightest bit of color or energy, or something even more tangible-a library," said Sonya Rifkin, first-year Mills student."
"We're proud that we provide learning opportunities to Mills student-athletes which help them realize that they truly can make a difference in the world," said Themy Adachi, APER Director. "This project was a great opportunity for Mills student-athletes to see tangible results from their efforts by creating enhanced learning environments for more than 200 Oakland middle school students."