USF Sarasota-Manatee Strives for Community Engagement

SRQ Story Project Partner Spotlight


At its core, USF Sarasota-Manatee is deeply committed to community engagement. We believe that education should not only take place within classroom walls; students gain critical skills by spending time in our local communities, working with fellow classmates and seeing the impact of their actions.

Likewise, educational institutions are part of the fabric of their surrounding communities. USFSM is proud not only to offer higher learning, but also to play an active part in building relationships that benefit students and residents alike.

For example, USFSM’s Service Saturday program enables students to gather and volunteer together at local organizations. Although our campus was closed the week following Hurricane Irma, USFSM students and staff came together at All Faiths Food Bank, making sure that our neighbors had enough to eat after the storm.

USFSM also has had a long-standing relationship with Unidos Now, an organization that encourages Hispanic youth to strive for a college education. Unidos Now operates their summer “Future Leaders Academy” at our campus, where USFSM students and faculty serve as mentors for academy students.

We also host events on campus with our community partners, such as our "What Can I Be With A College Degree?" program. Dr. Marie Byrd, director of USFSM’s School of Education, founded the annual day-long program which invites local elementary school children to campus. By providing tours and interactive workshops, we hope to inspire elementary students to begin thinking about the importance of education.

Even with these important programs up and running, we are always looking for new ways to be active partners within our communities. We encourage all—employers, business owners, non-profits and individuals—to reach out and let us know how we can work together for the benefit of all. And of course, we want to thank and recognize those who already work with us to make our region even better. Together, we make the Sarasota-Manatee area a diverse, dynamic and welcoming place to call home.

USF Sarasota-Manatee

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