Gaining, Improving, Sustaining

As a University dedicated to service in the community, Erie-Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability (Erie-GAINS) is a natural fit for a campus that is actively volunteering and leading in social responsibility.

Intentionally aligning Gannon University's community involvement with the initiatives of local government agencies, community organizations and businesses such as the Erie Community Foundation and the United Way, Erie-GAINS enables the growth and development of not only the community, but of Gannon's students, faculty and staff.

"Gannon is demonstrating what collective impact is by being part of the solution while ensuring our students and faculty engage in hands-on experience"

By creating the possibilities of internships, service learning, faculty and student research, civic engagement and more, this initiative has impacted the community in a recognizable and engaging way that is accumulating involvement from all. Whether it is positively affecting education by increasing the number of public high school graduates and college applicants; involving teens in active after-school programming to promote health and wellness; investing in Erie's economy through educating small-business owners; or improving our community's environment by organizing cleanups or planting trees, Erie-GAINS' presence at Gannon and in the community is one that is highly valued and making a change.

Learn more about the impact that Erie-Gains has in our local community.

These efforts are made possible by Erie-GAINS funding, such as the Robert J. Christenson Erie-GAINS Endowment for fall and spring mini-grants. Six grant applications were awarded $9,836 for various projects in the 2013 fall semester, and 11 applications were awarded a total of $12,443 for the 2014 spring semester. The spring grant recipient projects vary, including GreenEriePA, a Literacy Project at St. Peter Cathedral School, Gannon Goodwill Garden Summer Program and Social Change Fellows at United Way of Erie County (which is featured in the Faith & Service News Notes). Requirements for the approved projects include support of a minimum of one goal of Erie-GAINS and must also have measureable outcomes.

"Gannon is aligning its community engagement efforts with the needs of the community as identified through Erie Vital Signs, United Way of Erie County and Erie Together. Erie-GAINS' goals support community goals; Gannon is demonstrating what collective impact is by being part of the solution while ensuring our students and faculty engage in hands-on experience emphasizing excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The faculty, staff and students at Gannon take our responsibility seriously, both inside our campus and within the community," said Erika Ramalho, director of community and government relations.