Projects benefit Ada Jenkins Center, Barium Springs

DAVIDSON – Davidson College’s Center for Civic engagement awarded $5,000 and $4,500 to two organizations founded by students through its Ideas of March competition.

Six teams of Davidson College students presented innovative ideas for social change to a panel of judges.

Sophomore Haley Rhodes claimed the top prize of $5,000 for her idea of Cooking Classes at the Ada Jenkins Community Center.

Rhodes plans to offer food preparation instruction and nutritional education for low-income families who use the nonprofit’s food pantry.

Rhodes, who volunteers at Ada as a youth tutor and Spanish translator, said one of her pupils, a young girl who struggles to pay attention during tutoring lessons, always eats sugary snacks.

Her organization would work to help children adopt healthier diets by educating parents on how to prepare healthy meals. She’d also work to maximize the nutritional value of items in the Ada Jenkins food pantry.

Sophomores Ali Dove, Max Feinstein and Scott Cunningham claimed second place and an audience prize for their organization YouthMAP (Youth Marketing and Photography). They won $4,500.

YouthMAP organizes photography lessons at the Barium Springs Home for Children and offers residents insight in how to market their work to outside audiences.

YouthMAP will use the majority of its funding to buy new digital cameras capable of producing high-quality photos. Dove said YouthMAP will also use the funding to direct its students to serve other community service organizations that may need photographic services to promote their missions.

“The judges and I found that both of these organizations had strong ties to the community, and they both clearly demonstrated their need,” said Douglas Jones, executive vice president of global supply chain operations at MSC Industrial Supply Co.

Other judges were senior Bonner Scholar Joe Morrison, whose organization PAX Backpacks came in second last year, and Associate Dean of Students and Director of Civic Engagement Stacey Riemer.

The Ideas of March competition is completely funded by the MSC Industrial Supply Co.