Brandeis Buddies program organizers receive community service award

Greater Waltham Arc honors work of campus volunteer program

From left, Michelle Wexler '15, Elizabeth Fields '13 and Alexandra Shapiro '13 with the Kirsch award. Wexler is in training to coordinate the Buddies program when Shapiro and Fields graduate.

The Brandeis Buddies program, which seeks to foster friendships between students and adults with development disabilities who work on campus, has received Greater Waltham Arc’s Jane Z. Kirsch Community Service Award.

GWArc serves children, adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in the community, utilizing an approach that supports maximum independence, fosters inclusion, promotes self-advocacy and builds community connections.

Brandeis Buddies engage in recreational and social activities such as crafts, games and dialogue in an effort to establish personal links with the workers and to increase the community’s awareness of disabilities.

In making the award at Greater Waltham Arc’s recent annual meeting, the community organization specifically cited the work of student volunteers Alexandra Shapiro ‘13 and Elizabeth Fields ‘13 and Brandeis Director of Community Service Lucas Malo.

GWArc’s programs are funded by the Division of Medical Assistance (MassHealth), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Mass Rehabilitation Commission and private fees.

Jane Z. Kirsch, in whose memory the community service award is named, was active in many Greater Waltham civic agencies, including the Waltham West Suburban Chamber of Commerce, the Visiting Nurse Association and Greater Waltham Arc.  The award honors a person or organization that has a significant impact on Greater Waltham Arc and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the community.

Categories: Student Life

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