Wheelock honored for Mattahunt Community Center work

December 18, 2012

Boston.com

Blackburn AwardWheelock College has been recognized by the American Association of University Administrators for its work helping to revitalize the Mattahunt Community Center in Mattapan.

City budget issues closed the Mattahunt Community Center in 2010, but Wheelock worked with the Mattapan community to develop a plan for the center that would meet the neighborhood's needs and provide the programs and services children and families needed.

The center re-opened a year later in 2011 and is now a thriving, sustainable community hub that offers a growing roster of academic and recreational services and activities driven by community needs and priorities, according to Wheelock. An average of nearly 200 families per day use the center and its programs.

"We [The American Association of University Administrators] were attracted to the Mattahunt Center revitalization because it represents a unique expression of the Wheelock College mission of improving the lives of children and families," Jerome L. Neuner, the AAUA Awards chairman, said in a statement. "It is also a model partnership between a city, a community, and a college."

The association awarded Wheelock the 2012 John Blackburn Award, which recognizes colleges and universities that find creative solutions to common problems, and find successful ways to meet demands-whether from legislative bodies, accrediting agencies, the public, or other internal or external forces

"Wheelock is honored to receive the John Blackburn Award as a testament to the tremendous progress made at the Center to create opportunities where children and youth can thrive, families are supported, and those who work with children and families are appreciated," Jackie Jenkins-Scott, Wheelock's president.

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