College of Education > About > Centers & Initiatives > Lift As You Climb > Our Projects
Over the past three years DePaul COE students have participated in Lift as You Climb programming, integrating their collective knowledge and expertise into community projects surrounding issues ranging from literacy and higher education attainment to mentoring and community-police relations.
Our first pilot featured groups working in criminal justice, literacy, and higher education. Groups were composed of students and alumni from all COE programs and all levels (beginning undergraduate to doctoral), were facilitated by Lifters themselves, and were joined by a COE faculty member, Lift founder/leaders (COE students/staff), and by a leader with extensive experience in the group’s area of interest.
Criminal justice lifters brought together representatives from community partners to assist in the creation of a mentoring program, worked with the Chicago Police Department to lay groundwork for a mentoring program, and put together a podcast about the experiences.
Our literacy group ran an extensive book drive and hosted a full-day literacy fair at a local elementary school attended by teachers, parents, students, community members, and members of the DePaul community (undergraduates through alumni). Our higher education group researched programs, services, and different populations of first-generation students at DePaul, conducted information sharing events at the Student Center, and presented best-practices for serving first-generation students to leaders at DePaul and other universities.
In 2018-2019, Lift as You Climb worked with two community organizations, one a non-profit organization and the other a public school. At the public school, Lifters met with students and staff to discuss community-police relations. Lifters working with the non-profit organization organized and hosted a mothers’ retreat at DePaul. Participants and community members shared their experiences at the 2019 Lift Symposium.
In its third year, Lift continued those partnerships, developing a rich and student-centered curriculum for work with the public school, focused on student well-being and student research into opportunities and challenges facing their community. Due to the pandemic many of our programmatic initiatives shifted to the virtual space or were, unfortunately, cut short.
We look forward to continuing these community partnerships in the future. Each iteration of Lift as you Climb has been a direct result of participant feedback and input from community partners. With the same purpose, Lift will continue to adapt to better serve the needs of our community partners and to develop educators as more effective leaders and advocates for social and educational justice.