Austin Barkley, son of Julie and Jim Barkley of Sartell, was recently presented with the Caritas Man of Extraordinary Service Award at a private reception and luncheon April 26 at St. John’s University, Collegeville. Barkley, a senior Hispanic studies major at SJU, is one of four SJU students who was honored with this award.
The Caritas Man of Extraordinary Service Award was created by an anonymous donor to honor SJU students who excel in the community and reflect the Benedictine values of SJU. This award, which includes a $2,500 scholarship, is given to students who show dedication to community service, and engagement in student, civic and social leadership roles.
Barkley began his SJU volunteering experience mentoring teens as a leader for a local youth group. During his second year, he participated on an Alternative Break Experience trip to Kansas City, Mo., where he spent a week at a preschool for low-income families. His junior year, he studied in both Chile and Spain, where he volunteered twice a week as an English teacher at schools in the communities.
Last summer, Barkley was an intern at Anna Marie’s Alliance in St. Cloud. This year, he served as a co-leader on the Esperanza, Ecuador, ABE trip. He also serves as the chair for the St. John’s Class of 2015 Committee and as a member of this year’s United Way Access to Food Investment Team.
Tri-County Action Program Inc. was recently awarded a $5,000 grant for community sponsorship of Project Homeless Connect. Open Your Heart, a nonprofit organization with 29 years of experience targeting the hungry and homeless in Minnesota, awarded Tri-CAP the grant.
Project Homeless Connect is a one-day event for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. The event provides people the opportunity to connect with human service providers at one central location.
“Many people at risk for homelessness experience a transportation barrier to accessing resources. Providing necessary resources in a single location, accessible through public transportation, significantly improves access” said Patrick Shepard, family resource director at Tri-CAP.
Project Homeless Connect, held at the River’s Edge Convention Center on March 19, served 250+ people. A second 2015 Project Homeless Connect event is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 21.