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Lacking significant support from family, then-high school student Amanda Parris didn’t believe college was an option. But her enrollment in a dropout prevention program led to night classes at a local community college and awakened a desire to give back to others.

What do you get when you combine 200+ colleges, universities and seminaries; individuals from different religious backgrounds and beliefs; and an abiding passion for serving communities?

The holidays are a time when the spirit of kindness and generosity abound. So what better time to recognize your school for its year-round commitment to community service?

We've all seen them – in every color of the rainbow and spanning kindergarten through university, the ubiquitous bumper sticker: Proud Parent of an Honor Roll Student. Parents everywhere are eager to display their child's hard work to the world. But parents aren't the only ones who have an opportunity to display such a sticker.

Last week, the Corporation for National and Community Service joined the Department of Housing and Urban Development for an event called “Evidence of Success: Institutions of Higher Education Engaging Communities.” Together, the two agencies hosted a discussion on the role that institutions of higher education play in stimulating local economies.

As a national service organization, our thoughts and efforts are never far from our troops. If there's one group of Americans that not only demonstrates but embodies the ethos of coming together for others, it is our men and women in uniform. With good reason, we call them our service members.

Veterans Day should remind us that our veterans deserve much more than our thoughts and kind words. The transition from the battlefield back to civilian life is never easy, but long and multiple deployments and a weak job market make this one of the most difficult times ever to be a veteran.

Each year, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities through service.

Lawrence Caldwell quit school, ran away from an abusive home and was well on his way to becoming another faceless statistic of America's drop out crisis, until he enrolled in the Gateway to College program at Montgomery College in Maryland. He excelled academically and is now an undergraduate at The George Washington University.

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