This story, written by Kelly Simmons, was originally published on UGA Today on Sept. 23, 2022.
Five local projects were selected to receive a total of $32,000 in awards from an endowment established by an Athens native and UGA alumna. The fund, held by the UGA Foundation, ultimately benefits Athens-Clarke County residents as well as university faculty and students focused on service and outreach into the community.
“This award is a visible and powerful representation of the bond between UGA and the Athens-Clarke County community,” said Jennifer Frum, vice president for UGA Public Service and Outreach. “I look forward to hearing the success stories that emerge from these partnerships as a result of the generosity of Bobbi Sahm and President Morehead.”
The fund was established by Sahm, who made a significant contribution to UGA Public Service and Outreach, to provide financial support for collaborations between university entities and the Athens-Clarke County community. Inspired by the gift and the impact it will have on the local community, President Jere W. Morehead directed a $100,000 contribution to this fund using discretionary funds provided to him by the UGA Athletic Association.
The Bobbi Meeler Sahm Service and Outreach Award inaugural recipients include:
- Athens Community Council on Aging/UGA Performing Arts Center: Funding will support tickets and transportation costs for senior adults to attend performances at UGA during the 2022-23 performance season. These are individuals identified by ACCA who are no longer driving or do not have access to transportation during the evening hours.
- Oasis Catolico Santa Rafaela/UGA Office of Service-Learning: Funding will cover the costs of updating tutoring materials designed for vulnerable elementary school-age children living in Athens as well as an upgrade to the teaching space used by after-school volunteers.
- Sandy Creek Nature Center and the Clarke County School District/UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant: Funds will be deployed to support virtual reality learning experiences to educate students in Athens on the importance of Georgia’s coastal environment.
- Athens YMCA and the Clarke County School District Career Academy/UGA Medical Partnership: The project partners will create interactive medical simulations to introduce Athens K-12 students from underrepresented populations to the study of medicine.
- Athens Food as Real Medicine Prescription Program and Athens FARM Rx/UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences: Funding will support low-income residents’ participation in nutrition education, obesity prevention and health screenings.
Award winners were selected by a committee of representatives from UGA and the Athens community. Applications for the second year of funding will be accepted beginning on Oct. 28, 2022.