Stanford's 2015 Community Partnership Awards honor three local programs

Winners are selected based on their initiative, leadership and involvement in projects that embody the spirit of genuine partnership and benefit the overall community.

Three organizations have been chosen to receive Stanford's 2015 Community Partnership Awards, which honor the valuable partnerships that exist between Stanford and its neighbors, and celebrate community efforts that successfully tackle real-world problems and advance the public good.

This year's winners are Abilities United Employment Services Program, which has a longstanding relationship with Stanford Residential & Dining Enterprises; Health Education for Life Program for Kids, a student-run organization that has established a partnership with the Redwood City School District; and Student Clinical Opportunities for Premedical Experience, a student-run organization that places interns and interpreters at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Abilities United Employment Services Program

Keith UyedaStanford Dining staff and clients from Abilities United's employment services program

In red shirts, three adults from Abilities United's employment services program with R&DE Stanford Dining staff in the Branner dining hall.

Abilities United, a nonprofit organization in Palo Alto, supports children and adults with disabilities, and champions a culture in which all members of society are included and appreciated for their distinctive contributions.

Since 1999, Stanford Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) has been committed to the organization's employment services program, which provides one-on-one support to help adults find jobs. Abilities United offers a variety of services to job seekers, including skill assessment, application and interview techniques, job placement and training.

Currently, three adults from Abilities United's employment services program along with their job coach are working in the dining halls of two undergraduate residences: Branner Hall and Manzanita Park. The workers swipe students' ID cards as they enter the dining halls, clean tables and sometimes discuss the menu with students.

"We are inspired by their work and happy to have them as part of the team and our community," said Eric Montell, executive director of R&DE Stanford Dining. "They work in the front of the house when students are eating and have lots of interactions with them."

Health Education for Life Program for Kids

Xa MaiStanford students teach health education to a class of 7th graders

Stanford students with the H.E.L.P. volunteer program teach health education to a 7th-grade class at Hoover Elementary School in Redwood City.

Health Education for Life Program for Kids (H.E.L.P.) is a student-run volunteer group that provides a comprehensive health education program to schoolchildren in the Redwood City School District.

The program is designed to equip young people with the knowledge, tools and skills to make sound choices and informed decisions about their health. The curriculum is tailored to specific age groups and addresses a wide variety of issues related to emotional and physical health, including nutrition, exercise, sleep, tobacco use, puberty and adolescence, and stress and coping mechanisms.

This year, H.E.L.P. volunteers have partnered with eight 6th grade classes, three 7th grade classes and three 8th grade classes, reaching a total of 400 students.

Teams of Stanford students teach the schoolchildren by presenting about 15 hours of health education material to each class, and also serve as positive role models and mentors. Undergraduate and medical students from Stanford have taken part in the program since 1992. Each year, about 40 Stanford students participate in H.E.L.P.

Student Clinical Opportunities for Premedical Experience

Gustavo ChavezStanford student interns at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center emergency department

Student Clinical Opportunities for Premedical Experience, run by Stanford students, places interns in the emergency department at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Student Clinical Opportunities for Premedical Experience (SCOPE) is a student-run organization that places interns and interpreters in the emergency department at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California.

The emergency department is a Level 1 trauma center that treats a diverse and often underserved patient population. SCOPE offers Stanford students the opportunity to shadow more than 20 different physicians and observe multiple styles of doctor-patient interaction.

Since the medical center has no in-house language interpreters during weekends or overnight shifts, SCOPE also offers students who are multilingual the chance to serve as interpreters.

Each year, 50 to 60 Stanford students commit to the program and, on average, spend approximately 10 to 12 hours a week involved in SCOPE volunteer work.

In 2014, SCOPE students contributed approximately 6,000 hours of service to the medical center's emergency department.

SCOPE is an associate program of Stanford's Haas Center for Public Service.

David Demarest, vice president for public affairs, will present the Community Partnership Awards at a private luncheon on March 11. Harry J. Elam Jr., vice provost for undergraduate education, will present the Miriam Aaron Roland Volunteer Service Prize to Elizabeth A. "Liz" Hadly, a biology professor and senior associate vice provost for undergraduate education, at that luncheon as well.