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Drake students receive grants that help Des Moines community

April 11, 2013

Drake students Madison Johansen and Kelcy Smith received grants for their service learning projects under the advisement of Mandi McReynolds, service-learning coordinator at Drake University.

Johansen, a sophomore majoring in environmental policy, received a $457 grant from Youth Service America and Sodexo for the “Greater Des Moines Urban Youth Learning Garden” project. This project is a platform for meeting critical community needs in the areas of environmental responsibility education and access to locally grown produce among selected populations. The youth garden aims to provide various learning opportunities for youth from elementary age to students in higher education.

Smith, a sophomore double majoring in biology and psychology, received a $400 grant for the “Everybody Wins! Iowa” project. This project will fund a book swap for Des Moines elementary students. As part of the project, Drake students will donate or purchase books, read with local elementary students, and engage in an art activity¬—the elementary students will have the opportunity to create a Bulldog bookmark to use in their new books.

For more information on these projects, contact Mandi McReynolds at 515-271-2338 or