September 2012, Volume 16, Number 4

Making Their Mark

Empowering Students to Become Engaged Citizens

Joshua Young
Joshua Young

As Joshua Young sums it up, at Miami Dade College “we’re all about the community. MDC is about civic engagement.”

For his dedication both to the school’s guiding principles and the community, Young, director of MDC’s Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy, received the Dr. Charles R. Dassance Student Development Advancement Award from the Association of Florida Colleges.

Named for the longtime, now-retired president of the College of Central Florida, the award honors individuals who have contributed outstanding services to the advancement of student development.

A National Model

Under Young’s guidance, MDC has created one of the nation’s largest academic service-learning programs, involving hundreds of faculty members and more than 8,000 students who combine classroom and community work to contribute 175,000 hours of service annually to hundreds of partners. Faculty from practically every discipline are creatively combining service, civic learning and academics to build a better world.

Transformational Work

Raised by civic-minded parents, Young was encouraged by his mother to join the Peace Corps. He served in both Mali and Paraguay.

“It was a transformational experience. I learned a sense of community and how people took care of each other,” he said.

Over the years, Young came to realize how significant it can be to empower students to become more caring and engaged citizens.

For him, the award “shines a light on the importance of the great work we are doing at MDC to combine academic learning with service and civic responsibility.”

— Staff Report


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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.