Cyndie Shepard, director of the Compass 2 Campus program at Western Washington University, has been given a Daily Point of Light Award, which honors individuals and groups creating meaningful change in communities across the U.S.
“I am honored to receive this prestigious award, and do so on behalf of the outstanding Western student mentors who have made meaningful and lasting impacts on the lives of thousands of area school children,” Shepard said, in a press release.
The Daily Point of Light Award was founded by former President George H. W. Bush during his presidency to engage individuals, families, businesses and groups to solve community problems through voluntary service.
Compass 2 Campus, which sends trained WWU student mentors into schools, is in its fourth year. The program offers academic mentoring in areas that lack funding in the elementary, middle and high schools throughout Whatcom and Skagit counties. The goal is to establish a connection between schools lacking funds and college students to increase graduations rates and inspire students to further their education.
The program, launched in 2009 at Western, includes 13 area elementary schools and eight middle schools, as well as partners from four community and technical colleges and Communities in Schools. Funding for the program is primarily from private sources.
The predecessor to Compass 2 Campus, Phuture Phoenix, is now in three universities in Wisconsin after starting at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Shepard co-founded the Phuture Phoenix program several years ago at UW-Green Bay, where her husband, WWU President Bruce Shepard, was chancellor.