Community Project Fund


The Institute's Community Project Fund provides financial support for student service learning community projects that are assigned within their approved course of study.

Established in 2008 through the generosity of a bequest, and gifts made in honor of, former faculty member Karen Wolf, more than 90 projects have been funded thus far. Some examples of our students' projects:

Creating a Farmer's Market and Educating a Community on Healthy Food Snacks

Erica Begin, Madalyn Guzman, Cherytta Hogan, Debbie Mondesir, Dominique Pierre, and Ana Pearson.

NS521 Community Nursing Principles and Theories

The Rogerson Community is in the city of Roxbury, MA. The two dominant ethnic groups in the area included African Americans and Latinos. Also in the area were many bodega style markets throughout the community that catered to the two ethnic groups. A bodega is small market that contains perishables items, snacks, cleaning supplies, cigarettes, newspapers etc.

At first site a potential problem noted about the community was the lack of grocery stores. This was a potential problem because a community without grocery stores can lead to bad food choices thus leading to health issues like obesity etc. 

Through our observations we decided to create a farmer’s market where we would give the elderly fruits and veggies as well as teach them healthy snacks they can eat. We provided teaching via trivia in question and answer format in a group setting.

Our nursing clinical group provided the group with two healthy snack choices. First snack choice was hummus cup with sliced cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices. Second snack choice was low sugar yogurt cup with assorted berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries). We also offered two types of infused waters one infused with lemons and the second with muddled mint.

Healthy eating for many of these community members is not common and many rely on the Rogerson community day program to provide meals or live in group homes where fresh fruit and healthy snacks are not widely available.

We found that many of the clients benefited from our teaching in regards to achieving healthy eating habits that could help them control their various medical conditions. All the clients were engaged and very enthusiastic about learning alternative snack options.

Reducing Sugar Intake Through Education in Children 6-18

Marissa Moniz, Kaitlyn Martin, Kelsey Gay, Anne Bednar, Lucy Mangan, and Kristin Carroll 

NS521 Community Nursing Principles and Theories

It has been identified that close to 50% of the children enrolled at the Blue Hills Boys and Girls Club in Dorchester use some form of insulin and we have also observed various statistics regarding obesity and poor diet among the people living in Dorchester. Obesity is one of the major health indicators of the Dorchester area. This project educated children about the high amounts of sugar in common drinks such as soda, juice and Gatorade, while displaying healthier alternatives for them to try. 

The children began by learning some cardiovascular activities and how to take their pulse afterwards. They were also educated on the healthy range for their pulse. As the children moved forward to the second station, they were educated on how much sugar is in some of the favorite drinks. The kids loved guessing how many sugar cubes (3g of sugar/cube) were in each of their drinks. Their faces when they found out how much sugar were shocked. Some of their favorite drinks were Mountain Dew, Coke, Raspberry Lemonade, Orange Juice, and Root Beer. After showing the kids how much sugar are in their drinks, they were compared to how much sugar they are supposed to have daily (23g). The kids were really involved with guessing and sharing their thoughts. At the third station, the kids learned about some healthy drink alternatives, such as lemon water, cucumber water, two different seltzer water flavors (Mermaid Songs and Unicorn Kisses), as well as plain water that they could add strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries too. The kids really loved engaging in this station and trying all the different drinks available to them. They kept wanting to try and kept asking questions about the different ingredients and about the seltzer water.

At the end of the day, the kids took a poll about their favorite drink and it seemed like Unicorn Kisses seltzer water was the clear winner. It surprised us how many of the kids enjoyed the seltzer water. We had great engagement with the kids and the staff and felt as though the kids really got a lot out of this intervention. Most stated that they would drink these alternative drinks again at home and at school. 

Hydration Station Water Infusion Intervention 

Alyssa Arcieri, Lindsay Guittarr, Don Vu, Dao Le, Estelle Francois, and Lauren Misk 

NS521 Community Nursing Principles and Theories

We originally intended to educate our community surrounding nutrition but after a further in-depth needs assessment we determined that our clients required further education on proper hydration. Rogerson Communities have been experiencing an increase in dehydration resulting in sending the clients out to the hospital. We used the grant money to buy supplies such as lemons, limes, oranges, blueberries, cucumbers and mint in addition to cups, straws and tongs to allow the clients to practice creating a healthier hydration option such as infused water with natural flavoring and sweeteners. We also used the grant money to purchase trivia game prizes which we played with the clients following the infusion activity. The prizes included sports water bottles, Crystal Lite packets and Polar Seltzer water.

The result of the health promotion program was positive and successful. The clients exhibited an increase in knowledge surrounding proper hydration, healthier hydration options, signs and symptoms of dehydration and signs of having adequate hydration. They gave positive feedback stating that they liked the infusions and were able to practice it at home. The staff at Rogerson were also pleased with the activity and possibly plan to implement it into their activity planning in the future.

Improving Health Hygiene Among the Homeless Population 

Jennifer Pustorinoi, Rose Ty, Johanna Elliot, Daley Baldwin, Jean Christensen, and Katie LaPorte 

NS521 Community Nursing Principles and Theories 

This project provided education and resources as part of primary prevention for the goal of increasing hygiene practices within the homeless population. Data on proper hygiene practices among the homeless population is lacking; however, it is evident that practicing good hygiene and self-care behaviors is an important factor in reducing both psychosocial and physical health complications. People who are homeless may have limited resources in accessing facilities such as toilets, laundering services, showers, and private sanitation rooms. As a result, individuals are at a much higher risk for contracting infections, disease progression, and lack of knowledge in correctly identifying early signs and symptoms of disease.

44 individuals at Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) accessed and interacted at the various hygiene stations focused on the areas of oral, skin, and foot health. Stations included educational handouts, pictures to identify stages of worsening hygiene, and information to identify early signs and symptoms of disease. Student nurses conducted a pre-test and post-test to identify target areas for increasing knowledge of proper hygiene techniques as well as to evaluate the intervention. The pre-test mean score was 79% and the post-test score was 100%. After taking the pre-test, individuals went through the three hygiene stations to learn interactively how to increase health. Afterwards, individuals took a post-test and received a goodie bag as an incentive and encouragement to keep up with their hygiene.

Student nurses were able to put together 30 bags including: socks, lotion, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, and granola bars. Additionally, students were able to provide individuals with toothbrushes, deodorant, and soap to all that accessed the stations. Overall, the students had a successful hygiene intervention at BHCHP.

Fitness Rocks! 

Kristen Landry, Justin Norton, Breeze Victor, Hannah Jackson, and Carli Giacchino

NS521 Community Nursing Principles and Theories

Fitness Rocks! is a program that we designed to motivate preschool aged children to incorporate more play and activity into their day. A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for developing childhood obesity so with these exercises we hoped to encourage the children to perform more activity in their daily lives. At the Kennedy Head Start Center in Charlestown, many children live in poverty stricken areas where it is not safe for the children to play outside, and they are thus stuck indoors. When asked what they typically do for fun when they are not at the Kennedy Center, the majority of the children responded that they engage in activities such as playing on a tablet, video games, or watching television. We designed these activities as fun indoor alternatives to get the children’s heart rates up and their bodies moving instead of continuing their sedentary lifestyle.

We demonstrated each of the exercises to the children, and then had them do it too and name the exercises that they were performing. We asked the children after if they enjoyed the exercises and if they were likely to perform these exercises at home. Their responses were very positive and the majority stated that they would do them at home and get their family members and friends to perform them. 

View all projects from Academic Years 2012–2013, 2013–20142014–2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017.


Any student enrolled in a degree or certificate program at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Awards are limited to $200.00 per application and per project (multiple students may not apply for funding for the same group project). 

To Apply for Community Project Funding

To apply, please complete and submit the online application. Please direct any questions to Ellen Foley.


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