KINGSTON, R.I. –December 8, 2009–Members of the University of Rhode Island’s Greek community, composed of 12 fraternities and 10 sororities, donated $10,500 for educational initiatives at the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program (UCAP), Providence. The funds were raised during this year’s Philanthropy Week, Nov. 14 through Nov. 20.
Greek life students became aware of UCAP and its mission a couple of years ago when they watched Accelerating America, www.acceleratingamerica.com/an award-winning documentary about the school, which gives inner-city youths at risk of dropping out a second chance by accelerating their studies. Impressed with the students’ efforts despite often overwhelming odds, URI Greeks donated $1,000 to help the school buy basketball uniforms
Philanthropy is a tradition among URI Greeks. “This year we felt it was important for us to put a face on our charity so we invited some of the UCAP students to one of our fundraising events, “So You Think You Can Dance? says Max Moss who oversees programs and philanthropy for the URI Interfraternity Council. “The students came to Edwards Auditorium and danced, rapped, and recited poetry. When the performance ended the place just erupted with a large roar (of appreciation).
“For most of the students if not all of them, it was the first time they had stepped on a college campus. When they were leaving Edwards, we heard them say that they wanted to attend URI. That was really gratifying,” says Moss.
“We chose UCAP because we felt that everybody should have an opportunity to go to college. The donation was a way for Greeks to honor the value of the education,” says Lauren Distefano, who oversees the PanHellenic Council’s programs and philanthropy. “It was stressful coordinating the events, but it was so worthwhile. The money will be well used.”
CHECKING IT OUT: UCAP students (front row from left) Lynet Gonzalez, Bianca Archila and Carla Perez-Nunez receive a $10,500 check for their school from URI Greek community members (back row from left) Steve Simo, coordinator of Greek Affairs; Jenna Winkler, graduate assistant; Jean Aubourg of Omega Psi Phi; Max Moss of Beta Theta Pi; Meg Curran of Sigma Kappa, and Lauren DiStefano of Zeta Tau Alpha. URI photo by Michael Salerno.