Undergrads help fifth graders raise funds for hospital

Undergraduate students from the “Leadership Theory and Practice” in the Barowsky School of Business recently helped local schoolchildren in their efforts to raise funds for University of California at San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital.

The Dominican students served as leadership consultants, helping fifth graders from St. Raphael School in San Rafael design a project to raise awareness for their fundraising efforts. Dr. Thomas Cavanagh, assistant professor of business, in partnership with Alice Cochran in the Institute for Leadership Studies  in the Barowsky School of Business, coordinated the project.

About $1,700 was raised in a week through a school-wide “coin war,” in which each grade was challenged to fill a jar with change. Another $500 was raised through a book fair, in which the school children sold donated books for $1 each.

“The goal of the project is to teach Dominican students how to be better leaders by having them teach leadership and philanthropy to the fifth graders and to inspire community engagement and high-impact learning among our Dominican students,” said Dr. Denise Lucy, Professor of Business and Organizational Studies at Dominican and Executive Director of the University’s Institute for Leadership Studies.

This was the second year that students in Dominican’s Leadership Theory and Practice course have joined forces with members of Dominican’s Women, Leadership and Philanthropy Council (WLPC) to assist St. Raphael students with their fundraising efforts. The WLPC’s mission is to develop women and girls to be philanthropic leaders.

Last year, the Dominican students studying leadership, for their major in business or their minor in Leadership, coached fifth grade students on how to be philanthropic leaders by mobilizing a drive to collect food for St. Vincent de Paul’s food pantry.  The students held a school-wide walk-a-thon, which started at the school and ended at Dominican. The Dominican business students helped St. Raphael during a special weekly class learn about leadership, teamwork, presentation making and planning, while helping others.  Students were asked to get pledges of food cans instead of money for the walk to stock St. Vincent de Paul’s pantry shelves. More than 1,400 cans were collected.

“The fifth grade students made an amazing presentation to the entire school to enlist members of all ages to participate,” Lucy said. “The children were coached by Dominican students, and WLPC funded the lemonade and cookies for a school-wide walk-a-thon to the University.”

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