The five colleges that are leading the country in community service each received a presidential honor for their efforts Monday.
Carson-Newman College and Miami University were among the colleges awarded the Presidential Award of the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The honor is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for community service, according to NationalService.gov.
"Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community," Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, said in a press release.
A total of 642 colleges and universities were admitted to this year's Honor Roll and reported that nearly 2.5 million students have participated in community service.
The five winners were honored for their work in general community service, early childhood education, promise neighborhoods model and summer learning.
To read about the great work each of the winners is offering those in need, click through our slideshow below.
With high school graduation rates below 50 percent in West Philadelphia, the students at University of Philadelphia have recognized their responsibility to bring their educational expertise to the campus' surrounding communities, according to NationalService.gov. In the 2010-2011 academic year, Penn's students completed 441,526 service hours, focusing on academic initiatives for underserved elementary, middle and high school students.
More than 21,000 North Carolina State University students served over 330,000 service hours during the 2010-2011 academic year, according to NationalService.gov. Their community service initiatives focus on empowering disadvantaged youth and children who have one or more parents serving in the military.
After partnering with a local school district 10 years ago, Miami University has since committed to sending its students out to volunteer in early childhood education projects, according to NationalService.gov. University students tutor and mentor 600 children through Adopt-a-School, America Reads, and America Counts programs. Chelsea Clark (pictured here) participated in the Urban Teaching Cohort and is now teaching in Cincinnati Public Schools.
Seattle University focuses much of its community service efforts on a neighboring area with one of the highest rates of child poverty, youth violence, and juvenile incarceration in the city, according to NationalService.gov. Among its many academic volunteer programs, the students offer college visits, free citizenship classes, summer robotics programs and tutoring for kindergarten and first-graders.
More than 75 percent of the student body at Carson-Newman College is engaged in community service, according to NationalService.gov. By leveraging its education, counseling and psychology resources, the college's volunteers have been able to effectively target juvenile delinquency, and as a result, more than 65 percent of the elementary students and 96 percent of the high school students have no further delinquency issues.