Pilar Makee sees her school when she looks at herself.
“We are small but mighty,” Makee, a feisty, petite international student from Equatorial Guinea, said of Jarvis Christian College. “There is a lot of talent here.”
The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and Millennium Campus Network (MCN) has endorsed Makee’s assessment. The partnering agencies named Jarvis a Millennium Fellows Campus for the fall semester, based on a wellness campaign being executed by Makee and 19 other Jarvis students who all are Millennium Fellows.
Jarvis was among 30 colleges – and one of two HBCUs - worldwide selected as a Millennium campus, based on the Jarvis Diabetes Awareness Campaign. This effort targets youth aged 15-22 in Texas, which has the 10th highest diabetes rate in the country. No other Texas school was selected.
“This is a large forward leap for what we are trying to do with our diabetes campaign,” said Eric Clark, 19, a sophomore nursing major from Houston.
“It gives us that extra,” Clark, Millennium Campus co-director, said.
Programs by MCN convene, challenge and celebrate student leadership for social impact. “Opportunities like this get us out of our silos and put us on a global stage,” Kathy Graham, lead Millennium Fellows co-advisor.
Chestley Talley, co- Millennium Fellows advisor, said: “This is an excellent example of experiential learning like membership in our own pre-professional organizations.”
The Millennium Fellows are members of the award-winning Jarvis Enactus and Clinton Global Initiative Teams. Jarvis Enactus won first place in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Students for Health National Competition. The Global Initiative Team was a finalist in the Resolution Social Venture Challenge.
The MCN is a global student network that addresses some of humanity’s greatest challenges. Sam Vaghar, its executive director and co-founder, said its collaboration with UNAI expands its reach.
“Partnering with UNAI enables us to engage more students, providing a powerful framework to help them convene, take action and elevate the important contributions they make,” Vaghar said in a statement. “I congratulate Jarvis for its bold commitment to strengthen community and help make UN goals reality,” Vaghar said in a statement.
The UNAI works with higher education and research organizations across the globe to help realize United Nations’ goals and objectives. It is engaged with more than 1,200 organizations worldwide to research, educate and convene campus activism.
Ramu Damodaran, UNAI’s chief, said the designation is an opportunity for students to help foster a culture of intellectual social responsibility.
“Our collaboration with MCN will allow students to demonstrate how the wisdom and thought they invest in their formal curriculum can be extended to a great purpose of common good, lending their strengths to their communities and their world and, in turn, being enriched by them,” Damodaran said in a statement.
Jarvis President Dr. Lester C. Newman said he’s not surprised at this latest honor. “I am delighted and proud of our students for receiving such a prestigious recognition. I extend sincere congratulations to each of them. I am also thankful to our faculty and staff who worked relentlessly with them to ensure their success,” Dr. Newman said. “This designation is just another confirmation that JCC is world class.