Written by guest author Caitlin Burke (M.S., COM ’11).
On April 12, a group of 11 Boston University undergraduate and graduate COM students held a community outreach project at The Guidance Center in Cambridge. The event was titled, “Transform a Space, Change a Life,” and gleaned more than $1,000 in donations.
The PR and mass communication students converted three offices at The Guidance Center into vibrant children’s rooms for therapy sessions with in-kind donations from local businesses. The event was the term project for Associate Professor of Public Relations Jo O’Connor’s community relations course, designed to promote welfare in the Boston community.
“It is rewarding to see how our hard work will positively affect the lives of the families at The Guidance Center,” said COM senior Alison Amira.
“Transform a Space, Change a Life” saw this as an opportunity to apply its mission. To complete the room renovations, students gathered in-kind donations of toys and paint from local businesses, including:
The 11 students spent several hours painting, decorating and transforming each room into a place of safety and healing for children.
The Guidance Center is a non-profit located in Cambridge. Last year the organization provided developmental and mental health services to over 3,500 children and families in Cambridge and Somerville. After merging with another local non-profit, Riverside Community Care, in 2009, The Guidance Center needed to convert three administrative offices into child therapy rooms.
“The offices were in desperate need of a makeover,” said Laura Alvarado, development associate for marketing and communications at The Guidance Center. “Thanks to this amazing group of students, the rooms were turned into warm bright spaces where children and families can learn and grow together. It’s inspiring to see the next generation of professionals taking an interest in improving the community.”