Dr. Michael Fendrich, Associate Dean for Research, and Dr. Martin Bloom, Emeritus Professor, co-authored a chapter in Social Capital and Community Well-Being, The Serve Here Initiative (Springer, 2016). In addition, Dr. Bloom is one of the editors of the text. The textbook explains how to build social capital within groups of individuals, neighborhoods and communities, and within and between states. The chapter, “The Evaluation Model for Serve Here” offers strategies on designing, implementing, and evaluating social capital initiatives.
Serve Here was founded in 2013 by philanthropist Alva Greenberg as a demonstration project to encourage young people to remain in the State of Connecticut to work and reduce college debt. The program teaches participants how to be actively involved in their own lives and communities, thereby building social capital. Serve Here pairs participating non-profits that focus on children, the elderly and the arts or town or city governments with young professionals between the ages of 18 and 29. Participating organizations are given $10,000 towards the salary and at the end of the program the employee receives $10,000 to pay down educational debt or to use for further education or training.