The University of New Mexico Community Learning and Public Service (CLPS) office in the Division of Student Affairs was recently awarded a $400,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich.

CLPS main initiatives include intentionally enhancing and increasing inter-generational mentoring among children, youth and adults; engaging in and supporting community learning; initiating and engaging in community and academic partnerships; cultivating and advocating for social justice and inclusion and promotion youth and community agency through service-learning and long-term civic engagement.

CLPS uses community and university assets to meet community identified needs by connecting 150 university students to 30 community based projects where students apprentice with community leaders and provide direct service. Community based projects include community-schools, community gardens, an affordable health clinic, a program where people with disabilities work on gardens, as well as programs that address food insecurity issues.

The program nurtures student leaders to connect their academic aspirations to address societal needs through programs such as UNM Service Corps (UNMSC). UNMSC member Yevgeniya Novgorodskaya said, "The UNM Service Corps has in many ways helped me to find meaning and focus in my college career. For the first time I was compelled to envision the things that mean the most to me."

For the past 12 years CLPS has helped students connect their academic program of studies to their community projects, managed four consecutive AmeriCorps grants, and partnered with local, national, and international community engagement initiatives. CLPS has recently been selected to be the host site for New Mexico in the first cohort of the National FoodCorps program, designed to build community capacity and leadership to address sustainable solutions to food insecurity and community health.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean and southern Africa.

For more information about CLPS, please contact Kiran Katira or call 505-400-6828.

Media contact: Dorene Dinaro, (505) 277-5299; e-mail: