1818 Grants Program Seeks Projects to Continue Sparking Lasting Change
Sparked by SLU’s 200-year history of service, engagement and living for others, Saint Louis University students used a grant inspired by the University’s bicentennial to plant the seeds of change for the better.
Now the window is open for the next generation of passionate Billikens to spark fires for good through SLU’s 1818 Community Engagement Grants.
Students can apply for awards beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3, through Monday, Sept. 30, through the Center for Community Service and Engagement (CSCE).
1818 Community Engagement Grants award up to $1,800 for student-led projects crafted to address the real-world issues, from bringing robotics to life for children to working to expand access to menstrual hygiene products with a local non-profit.
Seeding Lasting Impacts
More than 1,100 children and adults from across St. Louis were impacted by an 1818 grant last year. The 18 projects selected in 2018’s inaugural grants class involved 306 SLU students and faculty members in positively impacting the St. Louis community, and student projects involved partnerships with 48 area non-profits.
As the new school year dawns, 16 of the 18 funded projects already have plans in place to continue this. Sustaining projects’ impact year to year is another way the program is carrying forward SLU’s historic mission into its third century.
“The grants program’s goal is to empower students to identify issues they care about, and to enable them to begin to make positive change happen, through hands-on, sustainable projects connected to and in partnership with specific communities and non-profits,” Bobby Wassel, Ph.D., assistant director of the CSCE, said.
Grants funded therapeutic movement and dance workshops led by members of SLU’s chapter of Movement Exchange. Movement Exchange used its grant to buy maracas and other instruments to add to its work with KEEN St. Louis, a group dedicated to providing equal opportunities for recreation, fitness and friendship for children and young adults with disabilities.
Another 1818 grant paired students and SLU staff members with men transitioning out of prison into new lives through an astronomy and star-gazing project.
Other grants supported the design and creation of a trauma-informed play space at Our Lady’s Inn, pollinator gardens and clothing closets serving on and off-campus clients.
“These grants represent the many ways that Billikens live out our Jesuit value of cura personalis in tangible, meaningful ways,” Wassel said, “and these projects are indicative of the focus on active, engaged compassion SLU students develop as part of their education, in and beyond the classroom.”
The First Class of 1818 Grants
Expansion of the St. Louis Diaper Bank to include feminine hygiene products and access to long-term resource assistance.
Provided youth struggling with physical and mental disabilities a chance to express themselves through dance.
Health and wellness day for under-served youth that included activities, demonstrations, and education.
Transformed the playroom at Our Lady’s Inn to better stimulate and nurture children experiencing trauma.
Have a Passion for Change? Apply for an 1818 Grant
- The application portal for the 2019-2020 cycle goes live on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
- Download the cycle’s information sheet.
- Have a question? Get the answer through the program’s FAQs section.
Want to learn more about service at SLU?
Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of more than 13,000 students on campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.