New award will fund several community initiatives

Students at UGA mini medical school camp practiced medical simulations on mannequins during Summer Academy at UGA, facilitated by the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel. The UGA Medical Partnership used half of its funding from the Sahm Award during summer 2022 to pay for three teenagers to attend the summer camp on the medical school campus in Athens. (Photo by Shannah Montgomery)

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.