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Central Florida Youth Experience Education Inspiration with UCF Students

The past 10 years ​with each semester at UCF, Boys Town Central Florida youth have had the opportunity to engage with University of Central Florida (UCF) students enrolled in the Cornerstone Business Course — an experiential service learning opportunity that has provided support to the social mission of leading non-profit organizations in Central Florida.
“Boys Town Central Florida is honored to be listed as a leading non-profit organization for the UCF Cornerstone Business Course,” said Jennifer Cacioppo, Administrative Assistant, Boys Town Central Florida. “Through the student’s engagement with Boys Town, our youth have experienced how planning, coordinating, collaborating and communication can result in positive interactions both on and off campus.”

Four professors, including Board Member Lauryn De’George, teach the course and combined with all the classes together this past fall, there were a total of 28 teams with six students per team. The teams were given a tour of the Boys Town campus and they learned about all of the programs offered. Following their tours, each team picked a specific Boys Town program to focus on and raise money for.

Using their business skills, innovative fundraising tactics were used to fulfill each team’s mission. Activities ranged from garage sales, having family and friends donate cash gifts, bake sales, car washes, making dinners on campus and going around to corporations. The mission was to maximize the knowledge about Boys Town Central Florida to as many people as possible and have each team raise a minimum of $1000.

UCF students experienced using entrepreneurial and professional skills, entrepreneurial thinking, communication, teamwork, diversity, creativity and ethics while working with Boys Town Central Florida youth and learned in-depth about the process of what makes Boys Town one of the leading non-profit organizations.

“The youth build special relationships while interacting with the amazing UCF students,” said Jennifer. “This semester the youth experienced recreational and educational activities including visiting Universal Studios, Sea World, Bush Gardens, Kennedy Space Center, Gatorland, Science/Museum Center, BBQ feasts, field days, a NBA Magic game, Theatre and Beauty Night.”

These amazing activities became an educational experience full of inspiration and a learning process for all. The youth learn about how some of the college students had spent time in the Foster Care system and now were capable college students. Being able to relate to one another reinforced the notion that it is possible to overcome and rise above adversity, succeed and college can be a reality and not just a dream.

“The UCF Cornerstone students are an inspiration to our youth, providing experiences that are both educational and recreational,” said Jennifer. “It is said that making one person smile can change the world- maybe not the whole world, but their world. The UCF students do this for our youth.”

Thank you to all UCF students and professors participating in the Cornerstone Business Course for working with Boys Town Central Florida youth and inspiring the importance and possibility of a higher education while giving the opportunity for Boys Town to spread their mission to the community.