Philanthropy is an extremely personal act. We all give in different ways, and for very different reasons.

Many of us give back by writing a check to a favorite program, providing an immediate (and, often, necessary) infusion of funds. Some of us also volunteer time to the organizations that mean the most to us. And, many times, we give as members of groups — interactions that bind and strengthen our communities.

It is in this spirit that UMBC has launched BreakingGround, “a campus-wide initiative to embed opportunities for civic learning and collaborative problem-solving even more broadly and deeply in our curriculum and co-curricular activities.” Already, stories of new partnerships and programs designed to make UMBC — and, ultimately, the world — a better place are streaming onto the BreakingGround site.

For students learning how best to shape their world, BreakingGround is terrific way to inspire good work, and to frame and measure successes. It is also an excellent showcase of the many ways we, as members of the UMBC community, can put the philosophy of philanthropy to work in ways both fun and fulfilling.

In an op-ed published in this week’s Baltimore Sun, co-authors SGA president Kaylesh Ramu and David Hoffman, assistant director of student life for civic agency at UMBC, share a vision of civic engagement that invites students — and the community surrounding them — to think creatively about how they can improve UMBC, and beyond:

UMBC has received so much attention because our culture and practices make creativity, innovation, appreciation for diverse perspectives and talents, and public impact central to our identity. We take pride in our scrappy, can-do spirit, celebrating entrepreneurs, boundary-busters and problem-solvers in every field.

We look forward to seeing how UMBC’s students, faculty, staff and alumni use BreakingGround as a springboard for community-based philanthropy, and we will share the most interesting stories from these efforts throughout the year.

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1 Comment

  1. I congratulate the leadership of SGA and David Hoffman for bringing a spirit to students, faculty and staff that helps everyone to remember how special UMBC is. Three cheers for “Breaking Ground!”

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